Sean Eldridge, a prominent LGBT advocate who helped legalize marriage equality in New York and the husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, officially announced his bid to run for Congress on September 23. According to his campaign video (below), Eldridge is campaigning to be a Democratic candidate for New York’s nineteenth congressional district.
“Right now, the voices of everyday New Yorkers are being drowned out by the special interests and party politics, causing gridlock in Washington,” Eldridge says in his video. “We need an independent voice who’ll fight for us, and that’s why I’m running for Congress.”
While openly out, he did not reference his orientation or his 2012 marriage to Hughes. The district he’s campaigning for comprises parts of upstate New York, Columbia and Delaware.
If his campaign is successful, Eldridge will be the youngest LGBT person to win a seat in Congress. Eldridge’s opponent will be current seat holder Chris Gibson, who is a prominent Iraq war veteran and anti-marriage equality supporter. Because Gibson was against the DOMA repeal on the House floor, he scored a zero in the Human Rights Campaign’s congressional scoreboard despite supporting the Violence Against Women Act and civil unions.
In Eldridge’s campaign, he talks about his family background (excluding his marriage to Hughes) and the importance of family with much emphasis on small businesses, balancing the budget, tax relief, Medicare and social security.
Eldridge is currently the president of investment fund Hudson River Ventures; previously, he worked as an advisor to Freedom to Marry and hosted fundraisers for Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2010.
“In Congress, Sean will continue to protect our Constitution, our freedoms, and our right to privacy,” according to Eldridge’s website. “He will work to ensure that every American receives equal protection under the law and that no one is fired from their job or denied housing because of who they are or who they love.”
While the National Republican Congressional Committee ran an ad attacking Eldridge for his political allegiances to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and referred to him as “rich and out of touch,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has already defended him.
“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,” said DCCC national spokeswoman Emily Bittner in a press statement. “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.”