Andrea Horwath, who helmed Ontario’s NDP for more than a decade before stepping down last month, announced a plan Tuesday to run for mayor in her hometown of Hamilton.
Horwath said she thought long and hard about her decision to run and will be leaving her provincial seat to run in the October municipal election.
“I look forward to using everything that I’ve learned to help us realize the great potential that our city has and I’m very, very excited about that prospect,” she said at a news conference in Hamilton.
Horwath stepped down as NDP leader after 13 years following the June provincial election that saw her party returned to official opposition status in the legislature.
Since then, she had hinted she may be considering a bid to run for the mayor’s seat in her city, where she was re-elected as the MPP for Hamilton Centre.
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger has said he will not seek re-election in the fall after three terms in office.
When asked Tuesday about Premier Doug Ford’s proposed “strong mayor” system, which would give mayors in cities like Toronto and Ottawa greater powers, Horwath said she would like to see how that proposed system would be rolled out.
If the premier decides to extend the system to other municipalities in Ontario, Horwath said she promises to collaborate with the provincial government.
“What I can guarantee you, again, if I’m given the honour to serve as mayor of our city, that I will always continue to collaborate,” she said.
Horwath has served in municipal government before.
She served three terms as a Hamilton city councillor starting in 1997. She made the jump to the Ontario legislature in a byelection in 2004 before becoming party leader in 2009.
Ontario’s municipal elections are set to be held on Oct. 24