- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2014

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford kicked off his re-election bid Thursday night by thanking his supporters for standing by him during the “rocky moments over the past year,” the Toronto Star said.

Those hurdles included an admission that he smoked crack during a “drunken stupor,” footage of him in alcohol-fueled rants, walking into a TV camera and accidentally knocking down a city council woman during a frenzied hearing.

But on Thursday, he was buoyant about his chances in October’s election.

“I have experienced how none of us can go through our life without making mistakes. I’ve learned humility, kindness of people and the spirit of second chances. I owe the people a great debt of gratitude,” he told attendees, the Star reported.

About half of the 290 tables set up for the event were empty. The party featured a rock band and a firetruck with a banner that said, “Saving the taxpayers from getting burned,” the Star said.