TORONTO — Rob Ford crowed Thursday that he's the "best mayor" Toronto has ever had and ponied up $200 cash to put his name on the ballot for the next election.
Ford — who, within the last two months, has admitted to smoking crack cocaine and buying illegal drugs while in office — was the first person in line outside city hall's election office at 8:30 a.m. to file his nomination papers to start the 2014 campaign.
"My track record speaks for itself,” Ford said. "The city is absolutely booming. We're building a subway. I've dealt with the issues that other mayors couldn't deal with.
"Talk is cheap. You're going to see action like never before," he added.
The embattled mayor's quick start on the campaign trail comes just two months after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair revealed investigators had recovered the video of the mayor smoking crack cocaine and arrested Ford's friend, Alexander "Sandro" Lisi, on extortion charges.
Days later, Ford admitted to smoking crack, but chalked it up to one of his "drunken stupors."
In the aftermath, Ford refused calls to resign or go to rehab and was stripped of most of his powers in a nearly unanimous vote by city council.
Police say the investigation, dubbed Project Brazen 2, is ongoing.
"I've got the strongest track record. I've been the best mayor that this city has ever had," Ford said.