MEXICO CITY — We’ve all dreamed of having a clone to do all that menial stuff that we don't feel like getting to every day. Now Renato Tronco Gomez, a state congressman from Veracruz, is seeking a double for just that purpose.
The Mexican lawmaker recently launched a contest to find his doppelgänger — a good-enough match to fill in for him at public events, such as town fairs, quinciañera parties, local funerals, and all unofficial events that put a strain on his schedule.
Tronco's double must fully assume his identity at designated public events, but the lawmaker insists his office will be “completely transparent” when they dispatch a surrogate to cover for him. The point of all this, Tronco told Fusion, is to “multiply” his work.
The independent lawmaker says he doesn't see a problem with having one — or several— dummies to cover for him. Tronco says now that he’s in office, he can hire anyone he wants to provide the services he was elected to perform. Once his twin is chosen, Tronco says his handlers will train the like-faced man to emulate the lawmaker's mannerisms and speaking voice to act as a convincing substitute.
Tronco, who's already known for his truancy in congress, says he doesn’t care about criticism because “the end will justify the means.” He suggests other politicians follow his example.
Tronco says he’s not afraid of being outperformed by his double. In fact, he welcomes it. “If someone manages to surpass me in my functions I’d even vote for that person,” he said.
But the bedroom is off limits.
“The contract will include a clause that specifies [my double] won’t be allowed to sleep with my wife, hit on my wife, or participate in Congress or any other constitutional activity,” Tronco told Fusion. “To get into the Congress and vote you need [to enter] a digital fingerprint and I wouldn’t be able to give him my finger.”
The full contest rules for “Searching for my Double” are posted on Tronco's Facebook page. Contestants must be between 30-50 years old and stand 5.4 - 5.7 feet tall. (Actually, the rules say candidates must be between 1.65 cm—1.75 cm tall, which we're assuming is a typo, unless Tronco is really searching for a half-inch mini-me). Most importantly, they have to be able to pass for the mustachioed, beamish Mr. Tronco.
A panel of judges stacked with Tronco's relatives and employees will evaluate all the contest entries. Those who get past first cuts will get interviewed and briefed on Tronco's daily tasks. On July 13, four finalists will be announced and the winner will take home a prize of approximately $2,600 from the congressman’s pocket. The winner will then have to sign a “collaboration agreement” to serve as the politician’s double.
Tronco recommends Mexico's embattled President Enrique Peña Nieto try something similar.
“I wish the president and the governor did things like they’re supposed to do; it wouldn’t matter if they used doubles to do what needs to be done to fix the problems of Veracruz,” Tronco said.
The political double will be a first in Mexico.
“No one in Mexico, politically speaking, has had a double. Only artists, comedians, and I hope this serves for good and can be replicated as long as there’s always a form, a mechanism and a guarantee that benefits society while respecting norms and laws,” said Tronco, who has bounced from four different political parties during his career.