Sean Eldridge, an activist, investor and husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, is expected to challenge Rep. Chris Gibson (R) in 2014 for New York’s 19th District congressional seat.
The 26-year-old Eldridge filed paperwork establishing “Sean Eldridge for Congress,” which was processed by the Federal Election Commission on Feb. 1, according to Bloomberg. Gibson has held his seat in Congress for two terms and was re-elected by 53 percent last November. Eldridge, who is president and founder of Hudson River Ventures LLC and a senior advisor to Freedom to Marry, has been a vocal supporter of President Barack Obama and has donated to Democratic campaigns.
Although Eldridge is expected to face a tight race against the 48-year-old Gibson, he has several key factors in his corner, including very deep pockets. The district is politically divided with 52 percent of voters in the 19th District going for Obama in 2012. Eldridge and Hughes also have strong connections to Democratic leaders. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) both attended the couple’s wedding last summer and they were guests at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s birthday celebration in December.
Hughes, who bought The New Republic magazine last year and now serves as its publisher and editor-in-chief, was roommates with Mark Zuckerberg in college and helped found Facebook. Hughes coordinated Barack Obama’s online campaign in 2008 and in the relaunch issue of the redesigned New Republic released earlier this month, Hughes and New Republic Editor Franklin Foer interviewed Obama in the Oval Office.
Hughes is also worth an estimated $935 million, according to Business Insider.
Yesterday, Politico reported Eldridge hired the media consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker to work on his campaign. The firm helped Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who is gay, win his congressional race in New York’s 18th District last year and assisted with The New Republic’s relaunch.
If Eldridge’s congressional bid is successful, he has the potential to further increase the number of out LGB members of Congress to new historic levels. Currently, six LGB people serve in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate.
[Photo: Chris Hughes (left) and Sean Eldridge (via Facebook).]