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Jimmy McMillian aka The "Rent Is Too Damn High" Guy takes center stage in N.Y. governor's race

Jimmy McMillian, a Republican candidate in the New York governor's race, speaks during a debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. (Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

In what may be the only debate in the New York gubernatorial race, issues and politics took backseat to a black-gloved, mustached man running on a simple platform: The rent in New York is too damn high.

Jimmy McMillian outshone frontrunners Andrew Cuomo and Carl Paladino with his declarative message and impressive facial hair: "The people I'm here to represent can't afford their rent.... Someone's stomach just growled. Did you hear it?"

There were complaints that allowing fringe candidates such as McMillian and "Manhattan Madam" Kristin Davis might turn the show into an unwieldy circus. At one point, Davis said she was the only one on stage who probably could handle the New York congress, because "Politicians are the biggest whores in this state." However, the Washington Post's Lois Romano said, "the evening's tight format prevented any free-wheeling exchanges."

With what little time he had, McMillian made a mark on the proceedings. He is a karate expert, so he won't speak poorly of his fellow candidates. He doesn't want your campaign donations; he just wants you to sign a petition to lower the rent. And he's okay with gay marriage: "If you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you."

Here are a few of his best moments during the debate last night:

And here's McMillian's candidate pitch:

This is not McMillian's first time in a candidate's race. He first came to prominence in the 2005 mayoral race in New York. His platform was a bit more in depth then: he blamed the high rents on Jewish people. "They are only being Rented to the Jewish People. (There is a HOMELESS CRISIS, why are this being allowed?) Every Elected Official knows about this, they are turning their heads looking the other way... This is APARTHEID, and a Total Violations of the Hate Crimes Act."

To learn more about the "Rent is too damn high" party, saunter over to his Web site here. McMillian's already got his very own rap theme song.

Who's your favorite fringe candidate?

By Melissa Bell  | October 19, 2010; 7:56 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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Oh, Jimmy McMillan. Perennial candidate for attention of any sort. I know they say any publicity is good publicity, but shouldn't you have a product to promote?

Also, I'm surprised you missed the underlying story that there are as many career sex-trade workers on the mayoral ballot (McMillan was a male stripper) as there are candidates who have actually held political office previously.

Posted by: nycvoter | October 19, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

In the 1930's the German's made the mistake of allowing a horde of crazies into power.

Will America make the same mistake?

Posted by: walker1 | October 19, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

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