The endorsement on Friday during a press conference at Museum London comes after the Ward 7 councillor filed candidacy papers back in May.
Morgan’s campaign announcement came two days after Holder announced he would not seek a second term as mayor, and would instead retire from political life at the end of the current council term.
During the press conference, Friday morning, Holder told reporters there was no better person for the job.
“Two years ago in October, I nominated Josh Morgan to serve as our city’s deputy mayor. Now, today, a little over two months before October’s municipal election, I am enthusiastically and wholeheartedly endorsing Josh Morgan to become London’s 65th mayor,” Holder said.
“While my name will not be appearing on the ballot, the outcome of this election is certainly extremely important to me, and that’s because I care deeply about Londoners and the future of our great city.”
Holder also spoke about Morgan’s ability to bring people together.
“Publicly and privately, I have seen him work with provincial and federal government representatives, colleagues of different backgrounds and political ideologies, agencies and outside organizations, sometimes with competing interests,” Mayor Holder said.
“Josh is able to bridge these divides, and because of that, most importantly, he produces results.”
— Andrew Graham (@andrewjwgraham) August 5, 2022
Holder said the traits and characteristics Morgan exhibits are similar to his own approach as mayor, including supporting affordable housing and public transit infrastructure, creating job growth, a climate emergency action plan, and supporting the creation of an anti-racism and anti-oppression division at City Hall to drive systemic change.
There were also several fellow councillors at the announcement showing their support for the deputy mayor, including Ward 2 councillor Shawn Lewis, Ward 6 councillor Miriam Hamou, Ward 8 councillor Steve Lehman, and Ward 12 councillor John Fyfe-Millar.
Morgan’s political team includes former city manager Martin Hayward, who will serve as a senior adviser on Morgan’s campaign, as well as campaign manager Ryan Gauss, the director of operations and personnel for London North Centre MP Peter Fragiskatos.
Morgan, 44, has served as Ward 7 councillor for two terms and was first elected in 2014. He was elected deputy mayor by council in 2020, after being nominated for the role by Holder, replacing Ward 4 councillor Jesse Helmer.
As of Friday, the father of four is one of eight registered candidates running for mayor. The others include Sean O’Connell, who previously ran for mayor in 2018 and for the Ward 14 council seat in 2014 and former London-Fanshawe Liberal MPP Khalil Ramal, who served from 2003 to 2011.
Nominations are open until Aug. 19.
Civic elections will be held in all municipalities across the province on Oct. 24.
— with files from Global News’ Andrew Graham, Matthew Trevithick, and Amy Simon
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