Doug Ford, brother of late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, elected Ontario premier

Doug Ford -- brother of the late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who admitted to smoking crack cocaine while in office -- is the next premier of Ontario.

Ford's Progressive Conservatives won Thursday's election in Canada's most populous province.

“We have taken back Ontario,” Ford told supporters Thursday night.

As of late Thursday night, Ford’s party won or was leading with 76 seats, while the New Democratic party came in at 40 seats – securing the Progressive Conservatives a majority government in the 124-seat legislature, the Globe and Mail reported, citing data from Elections Ontario.

The Liberal Party was winning seven seats, one shy of the eight needed to be formally recognized in the Legislature, the New York Times reported.

Ford, a populist who has been compared to U.S. President Donald Trump with his opposition to carbon taxes and promise for income tax cuts, greeted supporters after unofficial results projected that his Progressive Conservative Party would be Thursday night’s big winner.

“Together we made history, we have taken back Ontario. We have delivered a government that is for the people,” Ford said in a victory speech in Toronto, according to the Times

“My friends, help is here,” he added. “Tonight we have sent a clear message to the world: Ontario is open for business.”

Ford, whose political résumé consists of a single term on Toronto’s City Council, replaced veteran politician Patrick Brown at the helm of the Progressive Conservative Party after Brown stepped down in January over accusations of sexual misconduct, the Times reported. Brown has denied the allegations.

Ford also served as the unofficial spokesman for his brother Rob, according to the Times. Rob Ford's tenure as the mayor of the country’s largest city was plagued by revelations about his illegal drug use. He died of cancer in 2016.

“I know my brother Rob is looking down from heaven,” Ford told his supporters.

Kathleen Wynne, premier of the Liberal Party, which had been in power for 15 years, conceded just days before the vote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.