Hip-hop legends Jay-Z, Diddy and Nas endorsed banker Ray McGuire for New York City mayor on Wednesday, throwing their star power behind a candidate who has yet to break through in a crowded Democratic primary field.
The three entertainers praised McGuire in a video posted on YouTube.
“People come from all over the world and say, ‘If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.’ That’s the idea that we are trying to protect,” Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter said. Sean “Diddy” Combs said that over the last 30 years, McGuire “was always talking about the people.”
McGuire, 64, stepped down from his position as a top executive at Citigroup to run for mayor. The video announcing his campaign was directed by Spike Lee, who has also endorsed him.
But McGuire, who has never run for office before, has struggled to connect with voters. A poll of Democratic primary voters conducted last month by Fontas Advisors and Core Decision Analytics put McGuire in fifth place, with the support 4% of respondents.
Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang led the poll, with 16% of those surveyed preferring him. Half the respondents said they were undecided.
The winner of the June 22 Democratic primary will likely be the next mayor of the overwhelmingly Democratic city.
McGuire would become New York City’s second Black mayor if he were elected , after David Dinkins. The incumbent mayor, Democrat Bill de Blasio, is term-limited and cannot seek reelection.
Other Democratic primary candidates include Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and civil rights lawyer Maya Wiley. Stringer received the top endorsement from the Working Families Party, who put out their ranked choice endorsements. Dianne Morales was their second choice, and Wiley was their third.
"I have a long record of being a progressive, focusing on affordable housing, quality education," Stringer said.
Despite Stringer getting the top endorsement from the liberal party, Morales said she is the true progressive in the race — in part because she's an outside, not connected to the political establishment.
"I am an educator, a single mother, a first former executive who has managed budgets where you get reimbursed at 80 cents on the dollar," she said while touring small businesses in Kingsbridge Wednesday, calling herself the "candidate of the people."
Adams wasn't left out of the endorsements on Wednesday, picking up the support of former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer.
During a candidates forum over Zoom on the needs of older New Yorkers, fellow candidate Kathryn Garcia touted her experience running an emergency food program for seniors. Sean Donovan, meanwhile, spoke about his 30-page plan that would force every city agency to evaluate how their policies impact aging adults.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.