In a Victoria mayoral race chockablock full of candidates, an eighth person has stepped forward under the guise of a character named RyMo.
RyMo, played by Victoria artist Ryan Moen, wants to stand for inclusivity within democracy by attracting attention from people who might not otherwise be aware of the upcoming vote.
“I’m willing to create an extreme so there’s room for moderate people to step in,” RyMo explained. “I literally think at least half of the people don’t know the election is happening, or might not feel they have representation.”
RyMo likens himself to Vancouver’s infamous Mr. Peanut, a costumed candidate played by artist Vincent Trasov, who ran for mayor in 1974.
“The pseudonym is an act to point out that when you take on a role, you really do take on a character,” RyMo said. “Hopefully it highlights that no one is specifically qualified to be mayor, because anyone over 18 is qualified.”
He hopes the void in information about himself, as an artist, will be filled instead with questions about democracy and about the city’s election.
RyMo will not be placing signs on lawns or letters in the mail, but plans to focus on meeting people in person and spreading the word. He’s had a meeting with incumbent Mayor Lisa Helps to discuss his intentions.
“I told her I’m not out for her, or here to trash talk anybody,” he said. “I will participate in all the candidate meetings, but I think they can be better and an improved place.”
For more information, you can visit heyrymo.com.