Boehner chief lands top job at private equity industry group

Boehner chief lands top job at private equity industry group
© Greg Nash

Former Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) top aide has landed as the top lobbyist for the private equity industry.

The Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC) announced Wednesday that Mike Sommers, Boehner’s former chief of staff, will be its new president and CEO.

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The group touted Sommers’s lengthy Washington experience as an asset, saying he “has been at the center of every major policy debate in the last decade and successfully negotiated bipartisan compromises on landmark legislation.”

Sommers, 40, will replace Steve Judge, who vacated the position in August. He will start in early February.

In his new role, Sommers will serve as a major force for an industry that has found itself in Washington’s crosshairs.

Mitt Romney’s time at the private equity firm Bain Capital became a central attack against him during the 2012 presidential campaign. And presidential candidates in both parties have highlighted the carried interest tax break, relied upon heavily by private equity, as a loophole that should be scrapped.

Sommers vowed to do all he could on the industry’s behalf in his new role.

“Our member firms can be assured that they will have the support they need in Washington to create value and move our economy forward,” he said.

In a statement provided by the PEGCC, new Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called him “one of the best people I’ve come across in public service.”

And on the other side of the aisle, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) offered praise as well, calling him “one of the most effective, strategic, and sincere people I’ve worked with on Capitol Hill.”

Sommers served as a longtime aide to Boehner, who resigned in October, starting as an intern. Eventually, Sommers filled nearly every major role in that office, including deputy chief of staff, policy director and press secretary.

Sommers also advised former President George W. Bush on agriculture, trade and food policy as an economic adviser.