Two weeks after he publicly withdrew from the race, Thai Mac has declared he’s once again in the running for a Ward 1 council seat.
“I am announcing that I am resuming my campaign effective immediately and will be focusing on making up for lost time,” Mac said in a news release issued Friday morning.
Facing concerns about past online comments, Mac announced his withdrawal from the Ward 1 race on Sept. 9, though it came too late to be removed from ballot and his name remains on the ballot for the Oct. 24 election.
Among the comments raised as concerns are numerous Google reviews which include references to stores having “lots of stuff for gay men,” “too many LGBTQ stores” and a lamenting the existence of “gender neutral” beverages.
Mac also referred to the “little skirts on the waitresses” as the best thing about his experience at a Downtown Guelph restaurant and referred to the Downtown Guelph Business Association as “very anti-business and growth.”
His campaign withdrawal notice was taken down from his website earlier this week but was restored Wednesday.
Numerous efforts to contact Mac for comment during the interim period, which led some people to speculate on his return to the campaign, were unsuccessful. Efforts to reach him on Friday following his announced return were not immediately successful.
In his Friday statement, Mac said he’s had an opportunity to reflect on the situation and met with the chair of Out on the Shelf.
“Through conversation and kind words of encouragement, I am committed to growing and furthering my positive impact on our community,” the statement reads. “I would further encourage, if elected, that all elected officials pursue similar training for a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and their struggles.”
If elected, Mac pledged to donate $6,034 from his councillor pay to “local non-profit marginalized groups” and propose a new code of conduct for “all recipients of taxpayer-funded resources as well as committee members."