Amid scandal, Toronto mayor says he's not quitting

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Story highlights

  • Two media outlets have written their reporters saw video of mayor smoking crack
  • Mayor has denied using the drug and says no video exists
  • He told reporters that he will run in 2014 for a second term
  • Two more of his staffers left their posts on Thursday

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Thursday he will run for reelection in 2014 and looks forward to campaigning.

The mayor didn't address the many questions from reporters about allegations from two media outlets he was recorded on video last winter using crack cocaine.

"I'm not stepping aside," he said, just outside his office. "I'm running in the next election and if the great people of this city want to go in a different direction, that's what their prerogative is."

He guaranteed his name would be on the ballot and said he couldn't wait to get on the campaign trail.

When asked repeatedly about the drug-use allegations, Ford answered, "Anything else?"

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Earlier in the day, the mayor's office announced two more members of the staff would be leaving, bringing the number of workers who have quit or been fired in the past two weeks to five.

Two junior members of the staff -- Brian Johnston, a policy adviser, and Kia Nejatian, an administrative assistant -- left Thursday. It was unclear whether they left voluntarily. The mayor told reporters that he has encouraged staffers who find better positions to take new jobs.

    About two weeks ago, the website Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper published stories stating their reporters had seen 90 seconds of a cell-phone video showing Ford, as the Star described it, "inhaling from what appears to be a glass crack pipe."

    Later in the video -- as described by the Star -- an "incoherent" man both the Star and Gawker claimed to be Ford ranted on a number of subjects, from Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to the high school football team he coached.

    Last week the mayor denied using crack and said he couldn't comment on a video that doesn't exist.

    The video, which has never been released publicly, shows a "clearly impaired mayor," two reporters who say they saw the video wrote in the Star.

    The newspaper said that the man in the video refers to the players on the Don Bosco high school football team, where the mayor once coached, as "just f---ing minorities."

    The video ends, according to the Star, when the cell phone starts to ring. "That phone better not be on," the man says, according to the newspaper.

    Ford -- who turned 44 on Tuesday -- was elected mayor in October 2010. Before that he was a city councilor.