Mexican politician seeks his double through contest

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — A Mexican state lawmaker has launched a contest to find a body double that would allow him to be in two places at once and take care of his "many obligations."

Renato Tronco Gomez, an independent deputy in the eastern state of Veracruz, said Friday his novel idea will help his constituents.

The winner will have to study the way he speaks and carry himself appropriately, but some things like attending the state legislature and sleeping with his wife will be off limits, Tronco Gomez said.

"I am not trying to fool anyone because my double will always identify himself as my double," he said. "If singers and comedians do it, why not?"

"I used to send representatives to events I couldn't attend and the idea of a double emerged two years ago as a joke," he added, saying eventually people told him to try it.

The contest is open until the end of May through his Facebook page. A crucial vote for the winner will come from Tronco Gomez's wife. "She knows me inside and out," he said.

Tronco Gomez had been unknown outside Veracruz before the contest, though he had served as a mayor and a local deputy.

The winner will get $2,700 and extensive training in how to speak and act like Tronco Gomez. Four people have applied so far, including a Veracruz native living in the United States.

Tronco Gomez will pay the winner as an assistant with money he receives for that purpose as a deputy. The double will also have to sign an agreement limiting what he can do.

"My double will not be able to attend sessions of parliament, because (you vote) with your fingerprint and I'm not going to cut off my finger to give it to my double," he said. "There is going to be an agreement that he can't sleep with my wife, nor live in my house, nor be father to my children."

Critics have said Tronco Gomez is just trying to get attention to eventually run for governor.

"I am not looking for the governorship. I believe the governorship is looking for me," he said.

If it does come to a campaign, Tronco Gomez said his double will not campaign in his place, but he won't have a problem using the double if he brings in more votes.

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