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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 May 2005, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
New York crooner aims for office
Gifford Miller
Mr Miller says his first attempt at singing in public was "a mess"
A leading candidate to become mayor of New York has revealed the secret of his campaign - he sings to voters.

Democrat Gifford Miller, currently speaker of New York City Council, hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Michael Bloomberg in November's election.

A regular crooner in the privacy of his own shower cubicle, Mr Miller, 35, now performs in public as the race hots up.

He often sings classic hits and a selection of national anthems as he travels around New York seeking votes.

Mr Miller, 35, has learned the tunes to a host of national songs he hopes might win him favour - or at least a smile - from the diverse audiences he sees from his campaign soap box.

Diverse repertoire

"My wife doesn't let me do it at home," Mr Miller told the New York Times.

"But I've always like singing, and it struck me that if I could find some captive - and uncritical - audiences, I could indulge myself a little more."

But with the campaign pressure growing - a series of Democrat candidates are vying for the right to face Mr Bloomberg - Mr Miller's diverse repertoire may help win over some of those audiences.

"Half my security detail can sing the Hatikvah," he told the New York Times, referring to the Israeli national anthem, a strong favourite among New York's large Jewish community.

Other national numbers Mr Gifford has been known to belt out include the anthems of Greece, Kenya and Ireland - and in Gaelic, too, if he's in the mood.

Mr Miller's favourite, though, is the national anthem of Puerto Rico, a patriotic marching song called La Borinquena.

"He's a different type of candidate, a different type of election official," Mr Miller's publicist Reggie Johnson told the BBC News website.

"He's known as someone who sees a problem and gets it fixed."

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