Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, Tiki Barber boost Ray McGuire’s NYC mayoral bid


There’s enough candidates running for mayor of New York City to field a pro-football team — but now one of them has some city sports legends aiming to give his campaign a boost.

Wall Street executive Ray McGuire will announce Tuesday that his 2021 mayoral bid has support from such former New York sports greats as Knicks stars Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley and Giants Super Bowl running back Tiki Barber, The Post has learned.

Joining the power trio in the group, called Sports for Ray, is Giants co-owner Laurie Tisch, former Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon and current high school basketball coaches Joe Arbitello and Joe Lods. 

“Ray’s not trying to win over the one percent,” said Colon, a Bronx native. “He’s trying to win over, and really help and fight for those in my community and New York City as a whole.

“Not one man can make a difference, but a group of people who are like-minded and have the will and tenacity to do something, you can really move mountains.”

The group penned a letter explaining why they support McGuire, saying they believe the Democratic candidate can rebuild the city and bring everyone together.

“The pandemic has completely upended our lives, disrupted our routines, and made us question the future,” reads the letter. “Even in these dark moments sports across the spectrum have been a unifier, whether it is the socially distant gymnastics competitions or gathering with close loved ones to watch your favorite NY team win big.

“We want a unifier in City Hall who understands this industry, its importance to New Yorkers, a person with a plan informed by experience, and the relationships to deliver results.”

A photo of Ray McGuire provided by his campaign.
A photo of Ray McGuire provided by his campaign.
AP

Members of the coalition will be directly involved in the campaign. Some will work in advising the policy teams. Others will help with direct voter engagement that could range from phone banking to sending text messages to attending events or speaking on behalf of McGuire and his campaign. There is already a virtual event planned for March 8 that will include Ewing and Barber, called “Ray of Hope: A Conversation with Sports Legends.”

“To have this kind of coalition assembled for one candidate during a primary is extraordinary, but it shows the reach that Ray has, the circles of friends, supporters and allies he’ll call upon to lead the comeback [of the city],” said Basil Smikle Jr., McGuire’s campaign manager.

He added of Sports For Ray: “Just using their voice [will be important]. These are known and important New York City figures and leaders.”

This won’t be McGuire’s first round of celebrity endorsements, the longtime finance man announced his candidacy in a December video narrated by filmmaker Spike Lee.

The Harvard University-educated McGuire, 63, who left his job as a vice chairman at Citigroup last October, has eschewed the city’s matching funds programs, so he will be able to take larger donations.

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