Former Congressman Joe Crowley is trading in his party boss title in order to start his new career as a K Street lobbyist in Washington, D.C.
To take the job, Crowley resigned his position as Queens County Democratic Party chair Tuesday. Crowley had held that position since 2006 and was re-elected in September. June Bunch, a Democratic district leader, is serving as interim chair, Crowley said, until Queens Democrats elect a new leader at a later date.
“I just felt it was the right time, a good time to move on personally and professionally,” Crowley said. “It’s the right choice at this point in my life.”
The 56-year-old Woodside native, who represented western Queens for 10 terms in the House of Representatives before he was upset by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Democratic primary last June, took a position at Squire Patton Boggs, the Washington-based global law and lobbying firm.
“Serving in Congress was an honor of a lifetime and I look forward to working on many of the same issues in this new role,” Crowley said. “It’s exciting to be joining a firm with such a storied history.”
Squire Patton Boggs, one of the largest lobbying firms in D.C, called Crowley a “blockbuster addition” to the firm. Crowley will have to wait for 10 months to become a lobbyist due to the one-year cooling off period required of former legislators.
“You can’t lobby for a year after leaving office so I’ll be a consultant to the firm in the meantime,” Crowley said.
Crowley served in the House from 1999 to 2019. He was a senior member of the House Ways & Means Committee and Chair of the House Democratic Caucus from 2017 to 2019 and as two-time chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, ranking fourth in party leadership.
“I’m proud of what I achieved in the House and I’m proud of the work I’ve done with Queens County,” Crowley said, adding he will continue to split time between his family home in suburban Virginia and his residence in Woodside.
“I’m a Woodside kid, born and raised. You can’t get rid of me so fast,” he said. “I love Queens and I know it like the back of my hand. I love the people, I love the neighborhoods, and I love the food.”
Crowley hedged when asked about criticism of state Senator Michael Gianaris and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer following Amazon’s decision last week to pull out of its deal to build its HQ2 campus in Long Island City bringing tens of thousands of jobs to the borough.
“I’m thinking bringing 25,000 jobs would have been a very positive thing for Queens County and New York City,” Crowley said.
As for the Bronx-born Ocasio-Cortez, who became a progressive star in the Democratic Party after defeating Crowley, but found herself facing bipartisan fire this week for her opposition to the Amazon deal, Crowley paused and said, “I wish her well and I wish her the best.”