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Steven Del Duca will run for mayor in Vaughan, Ont. | CBC News

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Former Ontario Liberal Party Leader Steven Del Duca will be running to become the next mayor of Vaughan, Ont.

In an announcement Tuesday, he says he made the decision to join the race for mayor after taking time to re-evaluate his political future following his resignation from the party’s top job.

In June, the former Liberal leader stepped down as the party’s leader on election night after failing to win back the riding of Vaughan-Woodbridge north of Toronto in the provincial election while his party won just eight seats. 

Del Duca will be registering as a candidate Tuesday morning, his spokesperson confirmed with CBC Toronto.

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“I’m really excited about the race [and] I’m taking nothing for granted. I’m just going to work really, really hard,” Del Duca told CBC Toronto on Tuesday.

“I do love this community and I am absolutely passionate about public service.”

In June, Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua announced that he would not be seeking a fourth term in office. Del Duca says he had the chance to “work closely” with Bevilacqua, who was a Liberal MP before becoming mayor.

Del Duca, who previously served as the province’s transportation minister and economic development minister, is pledging to fight the growing city’s traffic woes. He says his experience as transportation minister gives him an advantage to fight the “traffic gridlock crisis” in Vaughan.

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“We’ve had extraordinary growth in this community and we need a transportation network that will actually keep up with that growth and help make sure people have a strong quality of life,” Del Duca said. 

“I think I’m the person who can deliver that kind of network.”

Del Duca lives in Woodbridge, Ont., with his wife, two daughters and two dogs.

Former NDP leader Andrea Horwath announced last month she would be running for mayor of Hamilton.

Horwath also stepped down after the June provincial election despite her party returning to official opposition status for a second straight term in the legislature. She led the provincial NDP for 13 years.

Ontario’s municipal elections are set to be held on October 24.

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