Citigroup’s Ray McGuire appears to be moving closer to running for mayor of New York.
He has held court with several high-profile political strategists recently, and at least one city political power player seems to be working the phones on his behalf.
McGuire, one of the most prominent black executives in finance, is vice chairman of Citigroup and chairman of its banking, capital markets and advisory business. He has been speaking with senior New York political advisors about a possible run for the city’s highest office, according to people familiar with the matter.
Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran strategist whose previous clients include former President Bill Clinton and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, met with McGuire before the state locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While he declined to comment on whether he’s met with McGuire, Sheinkopf did tell CNBC that he believes the Citi executive could stand a chance, particularly if Mayor Bill de Blasio leaves the city in financial distress after his term ends in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing citywide protests. He insisted, though, that it’s going to be difficult for anyone new to the New York political scene to create a movement needed to win.
“Do I think that he’s up to the task? It’s hard to create a political organization in New York City, nobody knows what the future looks like,” Sheinkopf said. “Could he make the case? The answer is he can make the case. Could he be a level of calm while we’re in the middle of the storm? The answer is he could be.”
A few Democratic Party advisors have told McGuire that he has a chance of winning the race next year if he can demonstrate how he has been a leader on Wall Street. They believe the city will looking for a mayor with a strong track record of experience and leadership, especially as it recovers from the economic devastation from the spread of Covid-19.
Since March, the state of New York has seen more than 2 million unemployment claims. The city is expected to start their phase one reopening plan on Monday. De Blasio has been slammed by critics for reacting too late in shutting down the city, including schools.
McGuire’s allies in the business community push his professional achievements whenever CNBC has recently asked about what they think of McGuire possibly running for mayor. They notably do not rule out him getting into the race.
“Ray McGuire is an outstanding professional with a sterling record of achievement,” Vernon Jordan, a senior managing director at asset management firm Lazard, said in an email. “His academic achievements are inspiring for young people and the integrity and character Ray demonstrates in his professional endeavors are exemplary for his peers and mentors. He has a bright future ahead.” Jordan, who is also black, is a longtime business and political power broker, and he has strong ties to the Clinton family.
As of earlier this week, these people familiar with the matter noted that…
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