10 Things To Know About Sean Eldridge
1. He is married to Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes.
Eldridge (then 19) and Hughes first met in November 2005 during brunch at Harvard Square. At the time, Hughes was a senior and already a founder of Facebook. Eldridge asked him out on their first date a week later.
The couple announced their engagement in 2011 during a reception for Freedom To Marry. They married in July 2012.
2. He is a supporter of Barack Obama.
In 2007, Eldridge became involved with Obama’s first presidential campaign. While attending Brown University, he worked as an organizer for Students for Barack Obama. He and Hughes attended President Obama’s first state dinner in 2009.
3. He is a marriage-equality advocate.
In 2010, Eldridge left Columbia University to focus on the fight for gay marriage. He joined Freedom To Marry as the organization’s communications director. He was quickly promoted to political director, which he served as until he left in 2011. His work was instrumental in legalizing same-sex marriage in the state of New York. He now serves as a senior advisor.
4. He is an activist.
Eldridge has a growing résumé of activism. In addition to his work with Freedom To Marry, he serves on the board of directors of Scenic Hudson, a environmental group in the Hudson Valley, and GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders). He launched NY LEAD (New York Leadership for Accountable Government), a group focused on campaign finance reform. Eldridge also founded Protect Our Democracy, another campaign finance reform group.
5. He is an investor focused on economic development.
Eldridge is the president of Hudson River Ventures, a small business investment fund with specific focus on the Hudson Valley. The company’s target industry sectors include agriculture, tourism, renewable energy, and biotechnology. He established the investment firm shortly after founding Protect Our Democracy.
6. He is a power gay.
The following year, he and Hughes were dubbed the new power brokers: The two “have emerged as a significant force in political circles, becoming enthusiastic fund-raisers for the progressive issues they support, which include gay civil rights.”
7. He is running in a vulnerable congressional district.
Eldridge filed papers to run for Congress in New York’s 19th congressional district. Democratic strategists have identified the Hudson Valley area as one up for grabs in the 2014 election. Eldridge’s opponent is Chris Gibson, a two-term Republican and former West Point professor. He was reelected in November by a margin of 53% to 47%. However, the district did go for Obama.
8. He could become the youngest member of Congress.
Born in 1986, Eldridge is currently 26 years old. If he wins the election in New York’s 19th District in 2014, he’ll become one of the youngest members of Congress. Aaron Shock, who was elected when he was 27, is currently the youngest representative at the age of 31.
9. His congressional run could raise a lot of questions.
Not only is Eldridge an advocate for campaign finance reform, he is the president of an investment firm. Additionally, Hughes has at his disposal a $700 million fortune. Issues surrounding campaign finance will certainly be scrutinized if Eldridge runs.
Last year, Hughes acquired a majority stake in The New Republic. His role in the media could further blur the lines between media and politics. Not to mention, Eldridge and Hughes could become the most powerful and influential gay couple in America.
10. He is not phased by much.
In August of last year, Eldridge was photographed with two men in hazmat suits. However, he appeared unconcerned by the men. Also, this picture is just awesome.