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Embattled Toronto mayor will run again despite drug allegations

Mark Blinch / Reuters

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds a news conference at City Hall in Toronto, May 30, 2013. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford lost two more staff members on Thursday, two weeks after allegations first surfaced that the leader of Canada's largest city was caught smoking crack cocaine on camera, something he has strongly denied.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford vowed on Thursday to run for re-election and said "everything is going fine" despite two more members of his staff resigning in the wake of increased scrutiny over the mayor's possible use of crack cocaine.

Speaking to media, Ford dismissed questions about the existence of a video that allegedly shows him using the illegal drug. 

"Anything else?" Ford said when a reporter asked if he had ever used illicit narcotics while in office. He similarly dismissed questions about the existence of the video and why five members of his staff had quit or been fired during the fallout from the potentially damning evidence that so far has not been seen publicly.

The defiant leader of Canada's largest city pledged that he has not plans to leave his post. 

"I am not stepping aside, I am running in the next election and if the great people of this city want to go in a different direction, that is their prerogative," said Ford. "But I guarantee my name will be on the ballot. I'll be registering the first day I can."

Earlier on Thursday, Ford's adviser on council relations and his executive assistant both resigned. The move came just days after two of his top press aides quit "on principle." Last week, Ford fired his chief of staff, though he still has not addressed the reason why.

A report from the Toronto Star cites senior aides who say they were alarmed when the mayor revealed to them that he knew exactly where the supposed video was. Sources told the paper that Ford said "our contacts" gave him the information.

Two reporters from the Star have said they have viewed the video, as has a writer for the website Gawker. The Toronto newspaper, however, added that they have no way of verifying the authenticity of the video, which appears to show Ford impaired and inhaling from a glass pipe.

Gawker is asking readers to help raise $200,000 cash to purchase and publish the video.