— -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has decided to drop out of the race for re-election amid a health scare and has asked his brother Doug to run in his place.
"Doug loves our city as much as I do. He believes that standing up for the average person and watching the bottom line are what matters most at City Hall," he said in the statement. "Doug also believes in standing up for his family no matter what. His loyalty and willingness to be there for anyone, anytime is just who he is. I’ve asked Doug to finish what we started together, so that all we’ve accomplished isn’t washed away.
Campaigning in the mayoral race has been underway for months, but today marks the official deadline for candidates to sign up or withdraw from the race.
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The announcement comes after Ford was hospitalized due to a tumor in in his abdomen. A biopsy has been conducted, but the results will not be known for at least one week. In the statement, Ford said that the details about his health problem remain "unknown" but he knows he is not going to be able to serve as mayor while addressing the issue.
"Now I could be facing a battle of my lifetime, and I want the people of Toronto to know that I intend to face this challenge head on, and win," he said in the statement. "With the advice of my family and doctors I know I need to focus on getting better. There is much work to be done and I can’t give it my all at this point in time."
There had been calls in the past for Ford to resign after Ford gained international notoriety for a series of drug and alcohol scandals. He also admitted to using crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor."
The election is scheduled for Oct. 27.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.