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Eight curious candidates who are running for municipal office in 2014, including Dimitri the Lover

Today is the day people can start registering to run for office in the 2014 municipal election. Most of the favourites have yet to file their nomination papers, but already a few political hopefuls are starting to show up on the official candidate list. Who, aside from Rob Ford, decided to take the plunge on day one? Here’s a rundown.

1. Dimitri the Lover Dimitri the Lover, whose real name is James Sears, is almost universally reviled for his role as a major promoter of pick-up artist culture. (PUA techniques consist, essentially, of hanging out in public places and badgering lots of women until one of them says “okay.”) And now he’s running against one-term councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon for Ward 32’s council seat. A one-time doctor whose medical license was revoked following allegations of sexual misconduct, Sears’s record will almost certainly prevent him from being a serious contender. His decision to run is probably a play for publicity, and we guess it just worked.

2. “Al Gore” A person by the name of Al Gore is registered to run for mayor in 2014. There could actually be someone living in Toronto by that name, or it could be a joke, or maybe that Al Gore is secretly a Canadian citizen and a Toronto resident, and he’s about to turn this municipal election into twice the circus it was already destined to be.

3. Matt Mernagh Local writer and marijuana activist Matt Mernagh is also making a run at the mayoralty this year. He may have trouble differentiating himself from Rob Ford, who is likewise notably pro-weed (at least as long as he’s the one doing the smoking).

4. George Sawision George Sawision is one of Toronto’s many perennial also-rans. This year, he’s going to try his luck against Mike Layton, for the second time.

5. Richard Underhill Another mayoral candidate is Richard Underhill, a jazz saxophonist best known as a founding member of the Shuffle Demons—of "Spadina Bus" fame.

6. Bruce Baker Bruce Baker, a former TTC bus driver who’s running for councillor in Ward 36, has the distinction of having been sued by the same east-end restaurateur who sued Rob Ford in 2010, and for the same reason: libel.

7. Lekan Olawoye On the brighter side, day one of the election has also brought out some lesser-known candidates who seem to have real qualifications, like Lekan Olawoye, executive director of the For Youth Initiative. He’s running for council in Ward 12, where he’ll likely be competing against Frank DiGiorgio, one of Rob Ford’s few remaining council allies. DiGiorgio hasn’t yet registered as a candidate.

8. Alex Mazer Another interesting day-one candidate is Alex Mazer, who’s running in Ward 18. He has a history of activism on municipal budget issues, and he used to be a director of policy at the Ontario Ministry of Finance.

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