Wexler & Walker Lands Bud Cramer

Posted January 26, 2009 at 6:22pm

Downtown lobbying firms are continuing their Democratic hiring spree this week, signing two top recruits ex-Rep. Bud Cramer (Ala.) and Matt Nugen, President Barack Obama’s former political director.

Cramer, who co-founded the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, is joining Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, the firm announced Monday. The nine-term Democrat, who served on the Appropriations and Intelligence committees, will become chairman of the firm, replacing former Rep. Bob Walker (R-Pa.).

Walker will become the lobby shop’s executive chairman, a new position.

In a statement, Walker described his onetime House colleague as “the Democrat coming off the Hill this year that every firm downtown hoped to attract.”

Cramer called the firm “the right fit,” saying he “thought long and hard about where I could best use the policy expertise” after deciding last year not to seek a 10th term.

“It was time for me to apply my skills to new challenges,” Cramer said in a statement. “I enjoyed my 18-year career in Congress, working with other Democrats and Republicans on issues important to Alabama and the country. I fully expect to continue to do so.”

The 61-year-old was one of the most heavily recruited retiring Members this cycle, joining the ranks of other 110th Congress retirees who have moved on to greener pastures. In December, ex-Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) joined Capitol Counsel, and ex-Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) moved to Deloitte Federal Government Services in November.

Former Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), who lost to Rep. Jim Himes (D) in November, continues to search for work, while ex-Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) is also still looking.

Ogilvy Government Relations announced on Monday that Nugen is coming on board.

“We are very excited about Matt joining Ogilvy,” Ogilvy Managing Director Moses Mercado said in a statement on Monday. “He is one of the most talented political operatives in Washington and his insights about the new Administration will be valuable to our firm.”

Nugen headed Obama’s national political operations until last summer, when he began overseeing the campaign’s involvement in the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The former Democratic National Committee deputy national field director also worked on the 2000 and 2004 conventions, as well as Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (ID-Conn.) 2004 presidential campaign.

The St. Louis native also worked for now-Vice President Joseph Biden last fall.