Mel Lastman once ruled Toronto with flamboyance and a flair for good (and bad) publicity.
Two years out of office, the retired former mayor’s one-time strategists are now key players in all three provincial political parties.
Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty’s most influential media adviser is executive communications director Jim Warren, who worked for Lastman throughout his two terms.
Another long-time staffer to Hizzoner, Andy Stein, is a senior official with Infrastructure Minister David Caplan.
Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory’s top kitchen cabinet member is business executive Rod Phillips, who was Lastman’s chief of staff and was an architect of Tory’s successful leadership campaign last year.
NDP Leader Howard Hampton’s candidate in Thursday’s by-election is Sheila White, who aside from working for the New Democratic chief at Queen’s Park served under Lastman for 13 years while he was North York mayor.
As Mel might say, noooooobody in municipal politics has a provincial legacy like that…