Mary J. Blige, Misty Copeland, Naomi Campbell And More Black Women Support New York City Mayor Hopeful Ray McGuire
Gwen Carr (L), mother of Eric Garner with Ray McGuire | Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Days after Jay-Z, Diddy and Nas publicly endorse Ray McGuire, nearly 200 notable women have pledged their early support for the New York City mayoral candidate.

Mother of the Movement Gwen Carr, celebrities (Mary J. Blige, Misty Copeland, Naomi Campbell), C-suite (Netflix CMO Bozama Saint John, BET’s EVP Connie Orlando), executives and entrepreneurs (Urban Zen’s Helen Aboah, Encore Strategies’ Karen Boykin-Towns), as well as Hollywood producers (Debra Martin Chase, Tonya Lewis Lee) are just a few of the bold face names who have endorsed the former Citigroup vice chairman will have their vote.

In a letter titled, “Women for Ray,” it states: “We’ve reached an inflection point. Politics as usual don’t work for us anymore. Today we’re looking past candidates with years in elected office, prominence on the political scene, media visibility, and yes, even gender, as we support the one candidate who has the demonstrated ability to deliver for us. That candidate is Ray McGuire.”

After earning law and business degrees from Harvard University, McGuire went on to become a successful investment banker, beginning his career at The First Boston Corporation. He would rise the ranks of corporate America, including his recent tenure as the former vice chairman of Citigroup. His network of elite business leaders convinced him he could turnaround the city’s fiscal recovery after the pandemic.

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McGuire, 64, enters a crowded race for New York City mayoral office and he has sights on being the city’s second Black mayor after David Dinkins, who served from 1990-93. (Four Black Americans are currently in the running, including Eric Adams, Brooklyn’s current borough president, and Maya Wiley, a former counsel to the current mayor Bill de Blasio.) As his campaign builds, The New York Times noted McGuire “used the language of New York’s first and only Black mayor, David N. Dinkins, calling the city a “beautiful mosaic” and promising to revive it.”

Revival is the hope for the women who have aligned their support with McGuire, who grew up with a single mother in Dayton, Ohio. “Like everyone who is from or does business in New York, we worry about the future of this city. We face an unprecedented financial crisis which places a disproportionate burden on women, communities of color, and indeed, all underserved communities. With heightened job loss, lack of quality education, crime, homelessness, police misconduct, historic economic inequity – and a pandemic overshadowing all, our very lives and those of our families are threatened,” states the Women for Ray letter.

The statement continues: “With Ray, we have an opportunity to elect a proven leader – a mayor who will institute strong and systemic change in the areas of our government that are broken. As the highest-ranking Black executive on Wall Street, with a career spanning nearly four decades, Ray has broken barriers, negotiated global deals, cultivated private/public partnerships, supported the arts, championed education, and invested in small businesses and healthcare. All the while, he remained cognizant of his humble beginnings and has succeeded by putting in the work. As women, we understand the importance of this.”

New York City’s mayoral primaries will be held June 22; the general election November 2

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