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Sex scandal brings quick end to Giambrone's mayoral hopes

Adam Giambrone announced that he will no longer be running for mayor of Toronto at a press conference Feb. 10/2010.

Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and

Revelations of multiple cases of sexual infidelity cost a young and ambitious Toronto city councillor his bid to become mayor of Canada's most populous city Wednesday.

Adam Giambrone, who dropped out of the race amid revelations he had "intimate relations" with women other than his live-in girlfriend, apologized for his actions but could not finish his prepared statement.

"There are weeks that change your life and this one has certainly changed mine," Mr. Giambrone, 32, said.

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"This searing experience has taught me, I hope permanently, that a public career of integrity cannot survive deceit in your private life."

Mr. Giambrone's executive assistant came out shortly afterward and said he would abandon his mayoral run but will stay on as a city councillor and chairman of the Toronto Transit Commission, the country's largest, yet much maligned, public transit system.

"He will spend the next few days in private. His mayoralty campaign ends today," said Kevin Beaulieu.

"Beginning next week he will return to his normal duties as city councillor. He will focus with renewed energy on the transformation of the TTC and on building transit city for the people of Toronto."

Mr. Giambrone said he's sorry for the hurt he's caused to everyone in his life, including Sarah McQuarrie, his partner of several years.

This week a 20-year-old university student came forward saying she had been having an affair with Giambrone.

Mr. Giambrone then admitted to having "intimate relations" with women other than his partner.

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The relationship and Mr. Giambrone's further admission of multiple affairs came to light in the Toronto Star.

Mr. Giambrone added his name to the ballot on Feb. 1 and joined a field of candidates who include former Ontario cabinet minister George Smitherman, former Liberal fundraiser Rocco Rossi and two city councillors, Joe Pantalone and Giorgio Mammolitti.

He also posted a tongue-in-cheek video on YouTube in January showing him doing push-ups, jumping jacks and jogging in place to illustrate his fitness for the job. He also practised hand-shaking and speech-making in front of a mirror, saying that it takes "years of physical and mental training to prove you can run a city."

Mr. Giambrone's position with the transit commission is not without its challenges.

Relations between TTC workers and passengers have soured in recent weeks and descended into a war of words through the media and social networking sites.

A photo showing an employee asleep in his subway ticket booth was widely posted online and a video then surfaced of a bus driver allegedly taking an unscheduled coffee break on his late-night route.

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TTC general manager Gary Webster issued a stern warning to employees that he also made public, which angered some workers who threatened a work-to-rule campaign that ultimately never materialized.

There is a history of labour strife within the TTC. Workers were legislated back to work after a surprise weekend strike in April, 2008, which followed another wildcat strike in May 2006.

Toronto residents have also long complained about service and frequent fare hikes - a monthly pass now costs $121.

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