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No joke: Magician will not be candidate for San Diego mayor

August 31, 2013|By Tony Perry
  • Loch David Crane, magician and perennial mayoral candidate, sits atop his Star Trike. He will not be a candidate this year because of back troubles.
Loch David Crane, magician and perennial mayoral candidate, sits atop… (Chris Park / Associated…)

SAN DIEGO -- The special mayoral election is shaping up as a serious affair, with lots of high-tone discussion of restoring integrity to city government after the scandalous downfall of Bob Filner.

The campaign leading to the Nov. 19 vote will not be leavened with much humor.

For one reason, the clown-prince of San Diego politics -- Loch David Crane, author, magician, Buffalo Bill-lookalike, Star Trek fan, admirer of Merlin and Capt. Kirk -- says he will not be a candidate.

For half a dozen mayoral elections, Crane has punctuated his rivals’ discussion of taxation and infrastructure by displaying his exploding wallet or repeating one of his favorite slogans: “It’s time to change the kitty litter in the cat box at City Hall.”

Crane, 65, has stoutly refused to grow up but he has inevitably gotten older. Back troubles, particularly after eight traffic mishaps on his three-wheeled Star Trike, preclude campaigning, Crane said.

His politics are a mix of eclectic and inchoate: enthusiastically supportive of medical marijuana, equally in favor of tighter control of the border. He’s got big ideas about lowering utility rates and cleaning up San Diego Bay.

During one of his campaigns he received more than 3,000 votes. He’s a Democrat but the party is not quick to claim him.

Inevitably, candidate forums will turn to a discussion of Filner, who resigned Friday amid multiple accusations of sexual harassment. Crane would have been ready;  he was a student of Filner’s at San Diego State in the 1970s.

“He was unmemorable as an instructor,” Crane said.

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Twitter: @LATsandiego

tony.perry@latimes.com

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