Ford also highlighted MPPs Lisa MacLeod (Nepean), Raymond Cho (Scarborough North), and Vic Fedeli (Nipissing), and he is known to be impressed by Todd Smith (Bay of Quinte), John Yakabuski (Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke) and Monte McNaughton (Lambton-Kent-Middlesex).
Other veterans believed to be under consideration for cabinet include MPPs Jim Wilson (Simcoe-Grey), Steve Clark (Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands), Ross Romano (Sault Ste. Marie), and Sylvia Jones (Dufferin-Caledon).
Because the Tories won 76 seats in the expanded 124-member Legislature — compared to 40 for Andrea Horwath’s New Democrats, seven for Wynne’s Liberals, and one for Green Leader Mike Schreiner — Ford has the luxury of choice.
When cabinetmaking, premiers traditionally look at geography, cultural background, gender and work-life experience, among other factors.
During the election, Ford promised that his agriculture minister “would be a farmer,” which means either Toby Barrett (Haldimand-Norfolk) or Lisa Thompson (Huron-Bruce) will likely make cabinet.
It is expected that MPPs Rick Nicholls (Chatham-Kent-Leamington) or Ted Arnott (Wellington Halton Hills) could end up as speaker of the Legislative Assembly, a position elected by MPPs in a secret ballot.
Ford will gather his victorious caucus at Queen’s Park next Tuesday for their first meeting since the election.
“I feel great. I feel energized. I feel ready to go,” he said. “We’re getting our transition team together and we’re going to get moving and we’ll move rapidly.”