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September 23, 2013

Sean Eldridge announces candidacy to run against Gibson

Seeking Democratic Party nomination

Joe Mahoney
The Daily Star

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Sean Eldridge, a wealthy investor who recently moved to the 19th Congressional District, announced today that he will seek the Democratic nomination for the House seat now occupied by Rep Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook.
Eldridge, 27, the president of Hudson River Ventures and the husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, said in a statement that he will "fight for common sense solutions to grow our economy and create good jobs."
“Right now the voices of everyday New Yorkers are being drowned out by the special interests and party politics causing gridlock in Washington," Eldridge said in a .video posted on his campaign web site. " We need an independent voice who will stand up to Big Oil and Big Banks and fight for middle class families.”
Gibson, a decorated combat veteran,  won his second term in Congress last year, defeating lawyer Julian Schreibman  of  Stone Ridge, Ulster County,  in a realigned district in which President Barack Obama, a Democrat, drew many more votes than Republican Mitt Romney.
The Eldridge announcement said the Democrat has stood with Planned Parenthood as an advocate for abortion rights and women's health care.
The Gibson camp was unimpressed with Eldridge's announcement, which was forecast last month by The Daily Star.
" He's been raising money from wealthy friends while at the same time touting an economic plan that boils down to loaning his potential constituents money," said Gibson campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Valle. "One thing is clear - this race will test the hypothesis of whether Congressional seats can be bought.  Frankly, if he needed to introduce himself to voters, there was no need to spend more of his money creating a new website and video."
She also portrayed Eldridge as a carpetbagger whose interest in attaining public office ahs gotten off to a bumpy start, saying. "He purchased a multimillion dollar home in our district in January, filed to run for Congress in February, and then cleared up his voter registration problems a few months later. "
A native of Canada, Eldridge now lives in Shokan, Ulster County.
Eldridge's statement made no reference to whether he has articulated a position on the controversial Affordable Care Act health care legislation that has been touted by President Barack Obama as one of his biggest achievements. Last week, Gibson voted with the House majority in on a measure that would strip funding from the Obama health care initiative, saying the program is deeply flawed.
Otsego County Democratic Chairman Richard Abbate said he expects local Democrats will work hard to advance the candidacy of Eldridge, who is also supported by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Eldridge was a featured guest of Otsego Democrats on Sept., when the local party had its annual dinner in Milford.
Gibson, 49, has been listed by the Washington Post as one of the most independent Republicans in Washington, frequently breaking ranks with his house GOP colleagues on legislation.