It’s official: Toronto’s most recognizable politician is back on the campaign trail.

Mayor Rob Ford became an internationally caricatured media sensation last year, after video surfaced of the first-term mayor smoking crack cocaine at a party with constituents.

The first-term leader remained defiant during the ensuing political frenzy, staying in office despite increased calls for his resignation and a series of embarrassing news stories.

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CBC News reports:

Ford did not directly address the scandals that have marked his time as mayor, though he made a joke early on about facing "walls of reporters" outside his office.

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"I won't back down from the issues that matter to you. I won't back down from protecting taxpayer dollars. I won't back down from putting people's interests ahead of special interests.

"If you have my back when they start throwing mud... I promise you, Rob Ford will have your back for the next four years."

Could he win? A recent Forum Research poll shows challenger Olivia Chow leading Ford 34 to 27 percent, though the two were tied in polls last month.

In 2010, Ford won with 47 percent of the vote.