COOPERSTOWN — In the first indication that wealthy Democrat Sean Eldridge may have a looming primary battle in his quest to represent New York's 19th Congressional District, a Greene County lawyer confirmed Wednesday he is trying to mount support for a possible candidacy for the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson.
The Daily Star exclusively obtained an email in which Frank Steinherr of Windham contends Eldridge already faces "big problems" and is being portrayed by Republicans as "a young, inexperienced opportunist."
"They are lining up to position the race against Eldridge as a campaign of personalities — Gibson, the local war hero from a working family vs. Eldridge, the multi-millionaire outsider trying to buy a Congressional seat," Steinherr wrote.
Eldridge, 27, is the president of Hudson River Ventures, an investment firm. He is married to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.
Steinherr, 36, is a mergers and acquisitions lawyer for the Manhattan law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. Steinherr has been active in Greene County Democratic circles.
In an interview, Steinherr confirmed he is exploring a candidacy but said he has made no final decision on whether to formally begin a campaign.
In his letter to Democratic leaders, Steinherr contended that Eldridge would be a flawed candidate for the party.
"His candidacy has been welcomed by Republicans almost as much as Eldridge's own supporters!" he wrote.
A spokesman for Eldridge, Morgan Hook, declined to comment on Steinherr's possible candidacy. He also had no comment on Steinherr's potshots at Eldridge.
Steinherr also knocked Gibson, saying the Republican "is going right along" with House Speaker John Boehner and "the radical right."
The Washington Post has ranked Gibson as one of the most independent Republicans in the House. He has broken with Boehner on several significant votes.