Why yes, that *is* state Sen. Daylin Leach as a centaur. So what?

The origins of a very special Photoshop.

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, sits in front of a photo of himself as a centaur.

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, sits in front of a photo of himself as a centaur.

Photo via @stevehoenstine on Twitter

State Senataur State Sen. Daylin Leach has a special photo of himself hanging in the office.

It’s a picture of himself as a centaur — you know, one of those half-human, half-horse creatures from Greek mythology.

Nope, this wasn’t a “I-used-charity-funds-to-pay-for-a-portrait” situation or a “someone-gave-me-a-self-portrait-and-I-forgot-to-disclose-it” problem. It’s just a Photoshop — a good one, at that — of a Pennsylvania Democrat from Montgomery County posing half-naked as the top of a mythological creature in order to promote an event next week benefitting an internship program.

Two of Leach’s most, uh, creative staffers made the image using a graphic of a centaur and a real, already-existing photo of Leach shirtless on a horse, which he posted to his Facebook in August following a trip to Hawaii.

“It worked for Putin,” Leach said, “so I thought maybe it would work for me.”

Left: Vladimir Putin sits atop a horse. Right: Daylin Leach sits atop a horse.

Left: Vladimir Putin sits atop a horse. Right: Daylin Leach sits atop a horse.

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From there, the Photoshoppers turned Leach’s bare naked torso into the top of a centaur. For no real apparent reason. (Maybe they were going for the ol’ A-Rod look?)

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And it was all to benefit education for young reporters.

Every year, the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association hosts an event called the “Gridiron,” which brings together journalists and politicians for what’s essentially a Minotaur miniature roast of each other. The entire thing benefits the Legislative Correspondents summer internship program at the state capitol, a program of which Leach calls himself “a big fan.”

So for the last eight or nine years, Leach has been the guy who promotes the event and puts on a standup show that’s routinely one of the most popular parts of the night. The state senator is a former standup and improv comedian who performed in spots from Allentown to Philly to New York. (His former improv troupe performed at the Adrienne Theater at 22nd and Sansom every Friday night in the late 90s on top of gigs at colleges, bars and anywhere else that would let them.)

“I’ve done a lot of comedy,” Leach said, “so I use my special skills to tell seriously inappropriate jokes about the people in the audience. It’s all off the record. Thank God.”

So Leach and his staff (he called them “creative little buggers”) have come up with different ways to promote the Gridiron, one of which is to post a handful of photos on Twitter of their Gridiron planning sessions that might be “eye-catching.”

There’s this, which includes a sword:

And this, which includes some state senator chest hair:

But of course: A photo of a state senator as a Greek horse-man.

“We figured the centaur picture would be a nice promotion,” Leach said, “and if I could endure the mortification of it that it would be worthwhile in terms of getting turnout on the premise that maybe I will show up as the centaur.”

Unfortunately for us, Leach isn’t saying whether or not a centaur costume is in the cards.

“We’re going to leave that,” he said, “as a mystery.”

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