Photo courtesy of Shelley Carroll’s webpage.
Shelley Carroll (Ward 33, Don Valley East) has been, for months, the great unknown quantity in this year’s municipal election. A highly respected city councillor first elected in 2003, and budget chief since 2006, Carroll has for the last while been mulling whether to run for mayor. It’s a year that presents a wide-open field of candidates, but also a fractious electorate and particularly tough budget challenges. Today she put an end to the speculation surrounding her intentions, announcing that she will be running for reelection in Ward 33 and not tossing her hat into the mayoral race.
Carroll would have had many things going for her had she decided to run for mayor, and likely would have injected a healthy dose of hard-headed financial pragmatism into the discussions around how to manage our budget. Her decision not to run is, to that extent, a loss to the city and to the mayoral race. It does, however, resolve some issues for those on the centre and left of the political spectrum: with a crowded field of contenders all vying for cash, volunteers, and votes, there is one less candidate who has the potential to split the vote and divide those who may ultimately seek to unite a single progressive flag-bearer.