Bed-Stuy Shakeup: McGuire, Waterman Cross Endorse, VIDA Endorses Adams

(L-R) Lola Waterman, Rev. Robert Waterman, Ray McGuire and Crystal McCrary McGuire raise hands after the cross endorsement. Photo credit: Sheena Medina for Ray McGuire for Mayor, Inc.

Thanks to the strategic maneuvering necessary in Ranked Choice Voting, team ups are getting more common in New York City politics than most Avenger flicks. 

Case and point, Mayoral candidate and business mogul Ray McGuire and City Council Candidate for District 36 Reverend Robert Waterman decided to cross endorse each other for their respective races yesterday, May 2.

“New York City needs a leader who will put New Yorkers first, not special interests, or their own interests,” said Waterman in a statement. “New Yorkers need a serious candidate for these serious times and we need a mayor with experience leading through crises who can lead our city through its recovery. I am proud to endorse Ray McGuire as that candidate today.”

After a restricted petitioning season, the 15 or so official candidates vying to replace term-limited City Councilmember Robert Cornegy in Bed-Stuy and Northern Crown Heights has been whittled down a bit, leaving behind front-runners like Waterman, Democratic District Leader Henry Butler, Chi Osse, Tahirah Moore and Regina Edwards.

Waterman has headed Antioch Baptist Church for 19 years, and served on Community Board  3 for over 10 years. A huge endorsement from a Mayoral candidate might be what Waterman needs to get a leg up on the other activists, progressives, or Brooklyn natives in the race.

Meanwhile, McGuire seemingly is continuing his ground game approach of connecting to his strongest base of Black and Brown voters. Given Waterman’s influence with the church and community in the historically Black district, a cross-endorsement is a good move.

“I’m proud to endorse and receive the endorsement of Rev. Waterman today. He has long been a prominent advocate for education, economic empowerment and health care,” said McGuire. 

“Faith leaders have always been at the forefront of civic life and social justice. Rev. Waterman has stepped up to also pursue a position in government to further the impact he already has in his community and this city. I’m looking forward to continuing our partnership from the campaign trail to city hall,” he added.

The cross-endorsement comes after the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (VIDA), the long-standing historically Black political club born and bred in Bed-Stuy, has already endorsed Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for mayor. 

VIDA was among the first Brooklyn Democratic clubs to officially endorse now President Joe Biden in early 2020 in what proved to be a heated and contentious presidential election. Their support of Adams may be the first signs of a real split among people of color choosing between favorite Black Democrat candidates running for Mayor. The political club is also associated with Butler, who serves as president.