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Jimmy McMillan Runs for NY Governor

Although the Giants in the World Series is big news, politics stories continue to dominate headlines.  Jimmy McMillan is running for office once again. The Vietnam War vet and political activist who has run for office in NY at least a half dozen times is now running for governor of the state of New York, a position he has tried unsuccessfully to get elected to in the past a few different times. But this time he is running under his Rent is Too Damn High Party. The former martial arts instructor and post office worker has actually managed to get on the ballot a few different times in his efforts to get elected to political office, but has never come close to generating the kind of support needed to win.

Early Political Career

In the early 1990s Jimmy McMillan started what has so far been an unsuccessful career as a would be politician. In 1993, he ran for mayor of New York City. His efforts to get noticed took him to great lengths and heights. He climbed the Brooklyn Bridge at one point and said he would not climb back down until the TV stations in the area started covering him and carrying his message. At one point during the campaign Jimmy McMillan was tied to a tree and covered in gasoline. He pulled these and a range of other stunts in an effort to get more publicity and to garner public support. But in the end, the campaign fell short of its goal as he failed to even get enough signatures on a petition to get included on the ballot in the general election [1].

The following year was the first time Jimmy McMillan ran for governor. He chose to publicize his campaign this time by walking on foot from his home in Brooklyn all the way to upstate New York. He would have walked back as well but an injury forced him to take a bus. Along the way Jimmy McMillan slept in homeless shelters. When he got to Buffalo, he interrupted the speech of Governor Mario Cuomo at the state Democratic Convention. At that point he was removed from the convention [1].

Later Political Career

Jimmy McMillan actually qualified to appear on the ballot in the general elections for mayor of the city of New York in the years 2005 and 2009, although the vote totals he received were extremely insignificant. Up to this point he has never been a viable or electable political candidate. Jimmy McMillan is a registered Democrat, yet he has to run for office as an independent or a member of his own Rent is Too Damn High Party because he is not attractive to the major parties as someone they would want representing their interests.

The concern Jimmy McMillan seems to have is for the normal everyday people in the state of New York, those who might have trouble paying their rent or their discount auto insurance. He appears to be genuine in this concern, though one wonders whether it is all one big publicity stunt created just to get some attention.

Jimmy McMillan is a single father of two grown children; He claims that his daughter is mentally handicapped as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange while he was serving in Vietnam [1]. Whatever folks might believe about him, there is no doubt that he is a character, the kind that only a city like New York could produce. Jimmy McMillan is quite possibly the least electable political candidate ever to appear in New York, but he is entertaining to many people at the very least.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_McMillan Retrieved 2010-10-25.

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