In the intensifying race for mayor of New York City, numerous endorsements have trickled out, but few with the star power of the one jointly given to Raymond J. McGuire last week: Jay-Z, Diddy and Nas.
For Mr. McGuire, one of the highest-ranking and longest-serving Black executives on Wall Street, the endorsement from the three entrepreneurial giants of the hip-hop world was meant to reinforce a message: He was not merely a candidate who emerged from, and was favored by, big business; he could be a mayor to heal New York from its financial crisis and its racial inequities.
Six months ago, Mr. McGuire entered the crowded race for mayor at the urging of several top business leaders, who hoped that he could translate his success on Wall Street into a viable candidacy for mayor, and be a more business-friendly choice than most of the other major candidates.
He quickly raised more than $7.4 million to fund his campaign, and a super PAC has raised another $4 million. He has also spent far more on political advertising than any other candidate: $1.2 million, with the super PAC spending another $1.7 million.
On Sunday, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, the chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, endorsed Mr. McGuire, in what some of his campaign aides are calling their “Clyburn moment,” a reference to an endorsement given by Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina to Joseph R. Biden; the endorsement is widely considered to have helped save Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign after his poor performances in two early primaries.
But with two months until the June 22 primary, Mr. McGuire’s campaign has yet to catch fire, and his goal of becoming the city’s second Black mayor is entering a critical phase.
There is no question that New York City faces a series of severe challenges as it emerges from the pandemic. But Mr. McGuire has so far been unable to persuade voters, according to early polling, that he is best suited to guide the city’s recovery.