Rob Ford abruptly withdraws from Toronto mayor's race

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Rob Ford abruptly withdraws from Toronto mayor's race
TORONTO, ONTARIO - JULY 30, 2015 - Toronto City councillor Rob Ford was in attendance for the opening of the tunnel. The tunnel to Billy Bishop City Centre Airport opened this afternoon after a morning ceremony with politicans. (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
This image from video released by NBC News/TODAY shows host Matt Lauer, right, speaking with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, left, as the mayor's brother, City Councilor Doug Ford, looks on during an interview in Toronto for the "Today" show. Mayor Ford said Toronto's City Council had no business stripping him of most of his powers over his admitted crack cocaine use and heaving drinking, implying in a television interview aired Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, that many councilors are no different from him.The council voted overwhelmingly Monday in favor of slashing Ford's office budget by 60 percent and allowing mayoral staff to join the deputy mayor, Norm Kelly. Ford now effectively has no legislative power, as he will no longer chair the executive committee, though he retains his title and ability to represent Toronto at official functions. (AP Photo/NBC News/TODAY)
Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford walks out of his office with City Manager Joe Panachetti after Toronto councillor's had voted to limit the power of Mayor Rob Ford on Monday November 18, 2013.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford leaves Mayor Rob Ford's office in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Rob Ford admitted Wednesday that he bought illegal drugs in the past two years and that he will not step down. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 27: Mayor Rob Ford addressed the media in front of his office Wednesday afternoon. Toronto city council is meeting this week for the last time before the upcoming municipal election. Aug 27, 2014. (Marta Iwanek/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 11: Councillor Doug Ford arrives at Humber River Regional Hospital Thursday morning to visit his brother, Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with a tumor yesterday. (Keith Beaty/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- JUNE 30 - After a seven week paid leave of absence Toronto Mayor Rob Ford returns to office and delivers an speech about Greenstone and then delivering stump speech at City Hall in Toronto. June 30, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 30: Mayor Rob Ford takes questions at a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the refurbishment of Brookdale Park's playground. Toronto, July 30, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO - JULY 15 - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford arrives at the venue. Toronto Mayoral debate on July 15, 2014, at Global Kingdom Ministries in Scarborough where Toronto Mayor Rob Ford participates in his first debate since returning after a stay in substance abuse rehab. (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 15: Mayor Rob Ford addresses his supporters and the audience at the Toronto mayoral debate held at Global Kingdom Ministries, organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress. July 15, 2014. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- JULY 25 - Kevin Searle is called Ford or Mayor at work. In the midst of an election campaign, Mayor Rob Ford stages another 'family' barbecue called Fordfest in a city-owned park in Scarborough. July 25, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON- JULY 25 - Mayor Rob Ford moves through the crowds. In the midst of an election campaign, Mayor Rob Ford stages another 'family' barbecue called Fordfest in a city-owned park in Scarborough. July 25, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wipes his brow in the council chamber as councillors look to pass motions to limit his powers on Monday November 18, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford takes a drink while attending an Executive Committee meeting at Toronto's City Hall on Thursday December 5 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
TORONTO, ON- APRIL 17 - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wraps up his speech as he launches his re-election campaign at the Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto. April 17, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto City Councillor Doug Ford walks out of his office with City Manager Joe Panachetti after Toronto councillor's had voted to limit the power of Mayor Rob Ford on Monday November 18, 2013.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves his home early Thursday May 1, 2014, in Toronto. Ford will take an immediate leave of absence to seek help for alcohol, he said, as a report surfaced about a second video of the mayor smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
Mayor Rob Ford talks during a City Council debate in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted Wednesday that he bought illegal drugs in the past two years and that he will not step down. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
Mayor Rob Ford talks during a City Council debate in Toronto on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford admitted Wednesday that he bought illegal drugs in the past two years and that he will not step down. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves city hall for the day after councillors passed motions to limit his powers on Monday November 18, 2013 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (centre) is shielded by security guards as he makes his way back to an Executive Committee meeting at Toronto's City Hall on Thursday December 5 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves city hall for the day after councillors passed motions to limit his powers on Monday November 18, 2013 THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 24 - Mayor Rob Ford and Toronto Police Inspector Randy Carter walking to stage at the Community Safety Award winners at City Hall in Toronto, April 24, 2014. (Vince Talotta/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, right, confers with acting chief of staff Earl Provost as he attends an Executive Committee meeting at city hall in Toronto on Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Ford met with his executive committee for the first time since allegations of Ford's videotaped drug use surfaced earlier this month. Ford has denied the drug-use allegations, making a statement late last week after six members of his executive committee urged him to publicly address the allegations following a week of mostly silence on the issue. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford listsens to speakers at a council meeting about casino proposals at Toronto City Hall on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Ford ignored a crush of reporters waiting outside his city hall office this morning in the hopes he would address allegations that he was recorded on video appearing to smoke crack cocaine. (AP Photo\THE CANADIAN PRESS, Nathan Denette)
This March 3, 2014 image released by ABC shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, left, with host Jimmy Kimmel on the late night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live," in Los Angeles. Ford laughed off Jimmy Kimmel's suggestion that he get help for his drinking problem and was reported to be upset about his appearance on the late-night TV talk show. Ford's appearance Monday night on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" in Los Angeles was the culmination of months of wooing by the talk-show host to get Ford to appear as a guest. (AP Photo/ABC, Randy Holmes) J
TORONTO, ON - JULY 28 - Amin Massoudi (left) who works in the Mayors office and councillor Doug Ford find a spot near the back of the room during the debate. A mayors debate was held at Presteign Woodbine United Church with Olivia Chow, Rob Ford, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz and John Tory on July 28, 2014. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 28 - Mayor Rob Ford speaks during the debate. A mayors debate was held at Presteign Woodbine United Church with Olivia Chow, Rob Ford, David Soknacki, Karen Stintz and John Tory on July 28, 2014. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 25: Mayor Rob Ford greets supporters. In the midst of an election campaign, Mayor Rob Ford stages another 'family' barbecue called Fordfest in a city-owned park in Scarborough. July 25, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 17: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds a press conference where he highlights spending at Waterfront Toronto. The presser was held in the Member's Lounge at City Hall in Toronto. July 17, 2014. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 10 - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford dips his head into a chair while laughing with another councillor during council meeting at city hall, July 10, 2014. (Bernard Weil/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
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By ROB GILLIES

TORONTO (AP) -- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford withdrew his re-election bid Friday as he seeks treatment for a tumor in his abdomen, ending a campaign he had pursued despite a stint in rehab and persistent calls for him to quit amid drug and alcohol scandals. But he said his brother would run in his place, saying "we cannot go backwards."

Rob Ford will instead seek a seat on the City Council, after a nephew withdrew his candidacy.

"My heart is heavy when I tell you that I'm unable to continue my campaign for re-election as your mayor," Ford said in a statement. "I have asked Doug to run to become the next Mayor of Toronto, because we need him. We cannot go backwards."

Doug Ford, a city councilor who had been the conservative mayor's campaign manager, submitted his registration papers to run for mayor in his brother's place. He will face two other major candidates in the Oct. 27 election.

Ford's decision came two days after he was hospitalized and the tumor was discovered. Biopsy results won't be back for a week and a definitive diagnosis is pending.

"As many of you know I've been dealing with a serious medical issue, the details of which are unknown. But I know that with the love and support of my family, I will get through this," Ford said in a statement.

Ford became an international celebrity last year after acknowledging using crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor" following months of denials. He returned to work in June after a rehab stint for drugs and alcohol.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Ends Bid For Reelection

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