Judge: Rent Too High candidate goes on NY ballot

NEW YORK (AP) — A man who wants to run for mayor as the Rent is Too Damn High Party’s candidate should be on the general election ballot, a judge has decided.

Jimmy McMillan, who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2010, became an Internet and cable TV sensation after a debate in which he repeated his point about New York’s price of living: “The rent is too. Damn. High.”

He filed signatures with the city Board of Elections in support of his mayoral candidacy. The board invalidated his petition on the grounds it contained errors serious enough to keep him off the ballot.

McMillan filed a legal petition, and a judge agreed the mistakes weren’t catastrophic and he should be on the ballot. The decision was announced Tuesday.

The Board of Elections declined to comment on the decision pending further review.

Democrat Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, and Republican Joe Lhota, a deputy under former mayor Rudolph Giuliani, also are running for mayor. They’re seeking to replace independent Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s serving out the last of three consecutive terms. The general election is Nov. 5.

McMillan is a frequent fringe candidate, having also run for Senate. He said in 2010 he’d been encouraged to run for president but wouldn’t because he likes President Barack Obama. He received almost 40,000 votes in the governor’s race, won by Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

McMillan, who’s black, has blamed rent prices in part on Jewish landlords, for which he later apologized.

He said in 2011 he was being evicted from a rent-controlled Manhattan apartment because his landlord wanted to charge a new tenant more than the $872 he was paying. He said the landlord wanted him out because “my rent is too damn low.”

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