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Who could be Bonnie Crombie’s replacement as mayor of Mississauga?

It may be a tough race to replace former Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie.

A poll released by Liaison Strategies Monday indicated almost half of voters are undecided as to who should be the next mayor.

About 49 per cent of the 983 survey respondents, who were contacted on the phone between Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, said that if presented with seven potential options—they would not know who to choose.

Crombie resigned from the position of mayor on Jan. 12 to take up the helm of the Ontario Liberal Party. For about two decades she held the title of mayor, having been first elected in 2014 with strong support from her predecessor Hazel McCallion.

Here’s who has expressed interest in running for mayor of Mississauga so far:

Carolyn Parrish: This city councillor was first elected municipally in 2014 after serving over a decade as a Member of Parliament for Mississauga ridings. She told CTV News Toronto last week that if she were to run, she would give up her seat as councillor to focus on the race.

“I’ve been called a dynamo because I’m working on all the time,” she said. “My personality is such that I wouldn’t be fighting with Queen’s Park or the feds. I’m pretty diplomatic.”

According to the Liaison Strategies poll, Parrish has the most name recognition. When voters were asked which of the potential candidates they would support if an election were held today, Parrish got 35 per cent of the support.

Dipika Damerla: This city councillor came second in the poll, with 24 per cent of respondents saying they would choose her as mayor. Damerla was first elected municipally in 2018 after representing residents of Mississauga East-Cooksville as Member of Provincial Parliament. She told CTV News Toronto that while she is heavily leaning towards putting her hat in the race for mayor, she still has some homework to do.

“We are looking at a lot of growth coming down the pipeline and done right that density can really turn Mississauga in to a powerhouse,” she said. “Done wrong it turn Mississauga in to an unlivable city with congestion.”

Stephen Dasko: Yet another city councillor has said he may enter the race. He was elected to represent Ward 1 in 2018 as well as regional councillor for the Region of Peel. Prior to being elected he was the chief operating officer for a technology company. He told CTV News Toronto he wants to take a pragmatic approach to politics, ensuring Mississauga gets the “best bang for our buck.”

About six per cent of survey respondents said they would vote for Dasko if an election was held today.

Peter McCallion: Son of former mayor Hazel Maccallion has said he is seriously considering running to replace Crombie. His name was not included in the Liaison Strategies poll.

McCallion told CTV News Toronto that safety would be his number one priority if he gets in the race, followed by transportation.

“Bonnie and my mother both built the city very strong and I want to follow through and keep it that way and make sure we’re on the right track for the future.”

Mississauga city council will declare the mayoral seat vacant on Jan. 17. Following that they have 60 days to announce a by-election.

METHODOLOGY

The margin of error for the Liaison Strategies survey is plus or minus 3.06 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Respondents were screened for voter eligibility and residency.

With files from CTV News Toronto’s Beth Macdonell

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