Feb. 15, 2022 By Max Parrott
After losing a nail-biter of a race against incumbent Borough President Donovan Richards last summer, former Queens Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley appears to be reentering the Queens political world once again — this time for state Senate.
Crowley has officially filed to run for the newly created state Senate District 17, which peels off areas from several existing Queens and Brooklyn senate districts. The new district covers portions of Greenpoint, Long Island City and Sunnyside to the west—and sections of Ridgewood, Maspeth, Glendale, Woodhaven and Richmond Hill to the east.
Crowley would be a familiar face in much of the Senate district after serving as the city Councilmember for the overlapping 30th council district—representing Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood—from 2009 to 2017.
In her county-wide race for borough president last year, she came within a percentage point of unseating Richards, an incumbent to whom she had lost a special election for the borough presidency a year before.
Election results from the 2021 primary show that she won most election districts that make up the new Senate District by making public safety a top concern, reportedly running ads that knocked Richards for his efforts to reduce the NYPD budget as a member of the city Council in 2020.
Crowley will be running against a field that includes Kristen Gonzalez, a first-time political candidate and member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Her platform is centered around housing as a human right, the creation of a publicly owned power utility and the passage of a single-payer healthcare system at the state level. Gonzalez is coming into local politics from a job as a product manager with American Express.
The race between Crowley, the moderate Democrat, and Gonzalez, the left-wing newcomer, promises to provide a litmus test for the newly created district, which is largely Hispanic with pockets that skew more conservative.
Crowley lost her city Council reelection bid to Councilmember Robert Holden in the 2017, a Democrat to her right, after he ran in the general election on the Republican Party line.
Prior to her stint in politics, Crowley worked for D.C. 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades as a restorative painter. She grew up in a 15-sibling household in Western Queens, and her cousin is former Queens Congressman and County Democratic Chairman Joe Crowley, whom U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beat out on her path to Congress in 2018.