Ray McGuire and his New York allies used their deep-pocket fundraising networks to raise over $ 5 million for the former Citigroup executive’s mayoral campaign.
McGuire, who launched his campaign for the mayor of New York in December, reached out to a group of staff who have known him and some of his allies for years, according to those familiar with the matter.
His fundraising success gives him a war chest that helps him compete with other competitors in a large democratic elementary school. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced his candidacy for mayor on Thursday.
“As soon as we called someone, we said, ‘Even though you donated, you know you know more people than just me and Ray,’ and they started their networks,” said Charles Phillips, former CEO of the software company Infor and chairman of the campaign, CNBC said on Wednesday.
Jon Henes, partner and corporate restructuring attorney at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, and Laurie Tisch, philanthropist and member of the wealthy Tisch family, are the reason for the McGuire campaign, according to someone with direct knowledge of two finance co-chairs. This person declined to be named as this had not been made public.
Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants, confirmed to CNBC that she is a CFO for McGuire’s campaign and has known the Wall Street executive for over 25 years. The two first met while serving on the board of the Whitney Museum, she noted.
Close friends of McGuire encouraged him to jump into the race for several months, Tisch said.
“I think it was probably a full year that his friends and people who know him said it was kind of a throwaway line of ‘Why aren’t you running for mayor?’ Said Tisch.
Henes was Senator Kamala Harris’ national finance chair when she ran for president during the 2020 Democratic primary. Harris later became Joe Biden’s deputy and will become vice president in six days. Henes was also a leading coordinator of former South Carolina Senate nominee Jaime Harrison. Harrison, who raised tens of millions of dollars in his ultimately lost bid, is on the verge of becoming the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Several members of the Tisch family that make up the Loews Corp. conglomerate controls and is a co-owner of the New York Giants, McGuire’s campaign gave the maximum check of $ 5,100, according to a list of contributions by the McGuire team. Henes also gave the maximum amount.
The campaign was partly based on virtual fundraising campaigns with other greats such as Mike Kempner, CEO of the PR juggernaut MWWPR; Charles Myers, former vice chairman of Evercore investment firm; Fred Terrell, former Executive Vice Chairman of Credit Suisse; Alexis McGill Johnson, CEO of Planned Parenthood; and Loretta Lynch, former US attorney general under President Barack Obama.
Kempner and Lynch, currently partners of the legal giant Paul Weiss, gave the campaign $ 5,100. Brad Karp, the company’s chairman, gave the same amount.
McGuire’s campaign also had fundraising success at a recent virtual event with over 300 artists called Arts for Ray, Tisch said. The event was attended by directors of the Whitney Museum and members of Freestyle Love Supreme, an improvised hip-hop comedy club founded by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee gave McGuire’s campaign $ 5,100. Lee shared with McGuire’s opening video.
This person noted that some of the upcoming virtual events are being hosted by former Bain Capital CEO and Governor Deval Patrick and Bill Ackman, CEO of investment firm Pershing Square Capital. Ackman was one of McGuire’s top donors. This person declined to be identified as the upcoming events had not yet been reported.
Phillips added that he would like to target donors and supporters alike on how he wants to improve the city’s public education system, police force and economy when he becomes mayor.
Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and longtime investor who also contributed to McGuire’s campaign, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” about his conversation with the former vice chairman of Citi and that he was impressed by his public education proposal.
“I met Ray. I had the chance to visit him. I like what he talks about. I’m especially excited about how he feels about public education,” Langone said.
Regarding policing, McGuire previously told CNBC that the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis was “cold blooded murder”. He urged business leaders to fight racism.
McGuire’s connections in the political world have also found their way.
One of his staff noted the support of Valerie Jarrett, a long-time close adviser to former President Barack Obama. As CNBC reported in October, Jarrett was supposed to be co-chair of the McGuire campaign. She has become an influential advisor to McGuire on issues including news, the person said.
According to that person, Jarrett McGuire advised, “Do. Be you. Don’t be something else. Let voters get to know you.”
McGuire is also set to unveil a small business relief proposal that could help businesses fight post-coronavirus pandemic, according to someone familiar with the matter.
The plan, due to be released in the coming weeks, will also include the concepts of how the city might pay for the proposal, this person noted.
At a recent forum held at the Upper East Side Democratic Club, McGuire previewed what his small business plan will look like, according to a transcript of his remarks made available by the campaign.
“I have a plan to save these small businesses, and it starts with immediate financial relief. That includes providing one-time employment grants to hire and reinstate New Yorkers and extending the eviction moratorium while we work with small landlords, to reduce this. ” or forgive the rent back so many small businesses can keep the latest sales tax revenue they accumulated and eliminate the one year permit renewal payments, to name a few, “said McGuire.
According to McGuire’s recent address, the plan will include the following provisions:
Providing private investment to community banks to raise capital for new businesses. A “one-stop” online application for small businesses. Owners work with a small business contact for support. A small business lawyer forcing agencies to cut red tape. A “shot watch” to persuade permit approval agencies for owners to fix violations without paying a fine