Chris Hughes | New York | News | Sean Eldridge

Gay Congressional Candidate Sean Eldridge Officially Kicks Off NY Campaign with New Ad: VIDEO


Sean Eldridge, the former political director at Freedom to Marry and husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who filed papers back in February to run for Congress from upstate New York, last night unveiled an ad announcing his campaign along with a website.

The campaign announcement has been preceded, in July, by a pointed profile in The New York Times of Eldridge and Hughes entitled, "Young, Rich and Relocating Yet Again in Hunt for Political Office." That article thrilled Republicans who believed the profile only furthered a narrative about Eldridge they're trying to make stick, wrote our Sean Mandell.

The Times Union adds:

He's worked to raise his business profile in recent months, and Republicans, sensing his ambition, have already rushed to paint him as a rich carpet-bagger.

While Eldridge has yet to be officially endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, DCCC spokesperson Emily Bittner came to Eldridge's defense:

“While a lot of people talk about the needs to create jobs, Sean Eldridge has actually been doing it, investing in small businesses throughout the Hudson Valley and helping them to expand and create jobs. Sean also has a strong record promoting environmental protection and civil rights throughout New York. While some folks work tirelessly to protect tax breaks for billionaires and corporate special interests, Sean has been working to grow small businesses and fight for middle class families.”

Those issues are at the forefront of Eldridge's new ad. Buzzfeed points out that what's not there is any mention of his LGBT work or the details that he's gay and married to Hughes. Eldridge's website does mention his support for marriage equality in his online bio and in the issues section of his website.

Writes Capitol Confidential:

The race will be instantly competitive because of Eldridge’s personal wealth: Eldridge married Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes last year, and has already invested $215,000 in his campaign. The 19th District covers the mid-Hudson Valley and Catskills, as well as parts of Rensselaer and Montgomery counties, and broke for Barack Obama in 2012 even as [Eldridge's opponent Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook] won a solid re-election.

Eldridge is the only Democrat running.

Watch Eldridge's campaign announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. This is a huge day for carpetbaggers and trophy wives everywhere!

    Posted by: 24play | Sep 23, 2013 9:42:03 AM

  2. Seriously, he is like what, 27, 28? What makes him experience for this position besides his husband's money? It must be nice to be so rich you can just district shop. If this one fails, they can just buy another mega mansion in another one and try again.

    Posted by: KT | Sep 23, 2013 9:45:17 AM

  3. So Chris Hughes paid almost $2 million for a house in February in NY's 19th Congressional District so his husband could run for a seat?

    Is this different than Liz Cheney living in New York since she was 12 then suddenly moving to Wyoming to run for Senate?

    Posted by: will | Sep 23, 2013 9:50:45 AM

  4. His campaign bio also omits mention of his Columbia law degree.

    Oh, wait, he dropped out of law school.

    Posted by: tcw | Sep 23, 2013 10:11:28 AM

  5. Stop guys, stop being so critical. Be thankful one of "us" has the money and opportunity to make political changes. You know as well as I do if you had the money, the husband and the youth you'd pursue your personal dreams. Well, Eldridge is doing just that. You don't have to vote for him but you don't have to destroy him either.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Sep 23, 2013 10:24:03 AM

  6. Sean Eldridge looks like a good candidate and a good man. So what if he's married to a rich man and has moved around to find the right district? There's every reason to believe that he will fight for the middle class and the underdog in the best, if faded, American tradition.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Sep 23, 2013 10:30:54 AM

  7. i... I just have to vote for him. HE IS SO DREAMY.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Sep 23, 2013 10:45:41 AM

  8. I'm SO VERY surprised to see there are superficial queens out there who are willing to jump on the Eldridge bandwagon just because he's cute and his husband is filthy rich. Fortunately, the rest of "us" don't have one set of rules for straight politicians and another for gay ones, or one set of rules for Republicans and another for Democrats.

    Posted by: 24play | Sep 23, 2013 10:54:56 AM

  9. While I am generally no fan of the wealthy using their money for political influence or to buy their way into office, I'm going hear what he has to say (or not say) about the issues of the day before making any judgment. I also want to hear from friends and family who live in the district and are active their local Democratic Party groups.

    Posted by: MichaelJ | Sep 23, 2013 11:12:53 AM

  10. i watched the ad, and i thought....who believes this person? "everyday new yorkers"....he has $500 million, what does he possibly have in common with upstate new yorkers?

    one of his main things is to "reduce the influence of money and special interest in politics"...UMM WHAT? both his "achievements" (his investment fund and the 3d-printing corporation) come from his husband having a lot of money. the sheer hypocrisy of this man.

    Posted by: Jason | Sep 23, 2013 12:53:52 PM

  11. Ha, this made me laugh out loud when I saw the headline...what a joke. At least quite a few folks will get hired in the campaign/advertising world as he'll be dumping millions of dollars into this race.

    Posted by: seattle_2013 | Sep 23, 2013 1:03:23 PM

  12. @Mike Ryan, totally agree with you here. I'm not from New York, but seriously people, stop eating our own. Would you rather a Republican win the race? This guy seems to have his head on straight and is making things happen, even at such a young age. Good for him.

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Sep 23, 2013 1:46:19 PM

  13. @ARIESMATT: If you were from New York, you would know that it's virtually a requirement for most successful NY Democratic candidates to vigorously support LGBT issues. (Yes, there are those that do not, but it's somewhat rare these days.) That being the case, most informed NY LGBT voters have moved beyond simple identity politics -- we're not going to vote for someone just because they're gay.

    That being the case, I think it's perfectly legitimate to question Eldridge's qualifications and the role his own money plays in his candidacy.

    Posted by: D.B. | Sep 23, 2013 2:43:37 PM

  14. @ARIESMATT: If I did live in the district, perhaps I would prefer a moderate Republican who was from the district and isn't running on the merits of being rich and married to someone famous.

    Sean has moved several times (from district to district) looking for a race where he could run in 2014. And the org he started, per the NYT, was pretty much started so he could lay claim to "helping small businesses" in future political ads.

    Anyway, thankfully we live in a democracy...let the best person win!

    Posted by: seattle_2013 | Sep 23, 2013 3:25:50 PM

  15. People are jealous because he is good looking and has a rich husband and got into law school and... Oh wait, now I get it. F$ck him!

    Posted by: Tristram | Sep 23, 2013 11:05:40 PM

  16. I find it weird that he talks about his family, but yet they appear no where in the entire 2 minutes and 49 seconds of this ad. If you truly want to be a progressive leader for change, please do not pander to voters with the status quo campaign ads. I found it to be typical and boring. This by no means says I don't think he would be a great Congressman, but we need bold gutsy leaders who are not afraid to be who they are and not what their pollsters tell them to be.

    Posted by: GLAW2014 | Sep 23, 2013 11:55:49 PM

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