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Mayoral candidate has online virtual self to answer voter questions

March 15, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
DeMaioVirtualTownhall.jpgMarch 14, 2012 by Liam Dillon via -- Carl DeMaio's favorite color is blue. He usually eats dessert before his dinner. He's afraid of heights, loves zombie movies and one time, when he was a high school freshman, he caught his tie in a newspaper vending machine. DeMaio freed himself from the machine by surrendering his neckwear. He still remembers how the tie looked hanging from the box when he walked away.

"Like a tongue," DeMaio says.

You won't hear DeMaio, a 37-year-old city councilman and mayoral candidate, tell these stories during his ubiquitous local media appearances. When he's on stage, DeMaio is all about his plans to save city finances. Not personal anecdotes.

For this kind of talk, you have to go to an unusual source. DeMaio has created a virtual reality version of himself on his campaign website. He appears inside a whole virtual office. There's a fireplace, an American flag and a window with a view of the San Diego skyline. Type a question and DeMaio animates.

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