Person

Sean Eldridge

Sean Eldridge (link) by mzorick is licensed CC BY 3.0 (link)
Nationality:

American

Spouse:

Chris Hughes

Political Party:

Democratic Party

Occupation:

Left-Wing Activist

2014 Candidate:

New York 19th Congressional District (Working Families Party)

Sean Eldridge is a left-of-center political activist, focusing primarily on LGBT issues and anti-Trump administration organizing. Eldridge is a former congressional candidate and the founder and president of Stand Up America, a progressive advocacy community designed to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Eldridge is the spouse of Chris Hughes, a multimillionaire co-founder of Facebook who left the company and became a left-of-center anti-corporate activist.[1]

Personal Life

Sean Eldridge was born in Canada and became a United States citizen in 2006.[2] Eldridge is the son of two medical doctors, Steve and Sarah Eldridge, and grew up in Toledo, Ohio.[3] Eldridge attended Deep Springs College, a small, all-male, two-year college in California before transferring schools and graduating from Brown University.[4]

While taking a break from schooling to gain work experience, Eldridge moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts where he met Chris Hughes, liberal activist and co-founder of Facebook, who was then a student at Harvard University.[5] The pair went on a blind date in November 2005, and several years later, they married in New York in 2012.[6] [7]

Career

LGBT Activism

In 2011, Eldridge was named one of the top 50 “most powerful gay figures” in New York by the New York Observer, a distinction resulting from Eldridge’s already extensive career in left-of-center advocacy, especially on LGBT issues.[8]

Eldridge is the former political director of Freedom to Marry, the campaign which led the push for state recognition of same-sex marriages in the United States.[9] Eldridge and Hughes were deeply involved in the campaign, contributing $225,000 to same-sex marriage efforts in 2012, including $100,000 to Freedom to Marry.[10] Eldridge is still involved with Freedom to Marry, serving as a senior advisor.[11]

New York State

In 2012, Eldridge and Hughes founded Protect our Democracy, a project to push for public funding of campaigns in New York in coalition with Governor Andrew Cuomo (D).[12] [13] Eldridge and Hughes provided $250,000 in seed funding for the project.[14] Eldridge took charge of the initiative, pushing for lower limits on political donations, greater regulatory enforcement and transparency, and public financing for state elections.[15]

Trump Impeachment

In 2016, Eldridge founded Stand Up America, a left-progressive advocacy organization which was created immediately in the weeks following the 2016 election to pressure Congress to “convict and remove Donald Trump from office.”[16]

Eldridge has been an outspoken supporter of impeaching President Donald Trump. On December 17, Eldridge encouraged over 200,000 people to join more than 600 rallies across the United States in order to call for the President’s impeachment and removal from office.[17] Eldridge has further accused President Trump of “high crimes” based on the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, claiming that the report shows Trump obstructed justice, tampered with witnesses, and offered pardons to associates to prevent them from cooperating with prosecutors.[18] Eldridge, through Stand Up America, also launched a $100,000 ad campaign in an effort to push moderate and politically vulnerable Republican lawmakers to support impeaching President Trump.[19]

Business Ventures

Outside of his career in political organizing, Eldridge has taken up investment as the founder and president of Hudson River Ventures, an investment firm in Garrison, New York.[20] The group made its first investment in late 2012, as talk began about Eldridge seeking political office.[21]

Investments have since been focused on local businesses in the Hudson Valley, specifically in the culinary industry.[22] Many have called the firm a transparent move to engender trust in Eldridge to strengthen his political bids, with Eldridge campaign staff serving in positions at the investment firm as well.[23]

Board Memberships

Eldridge also serves on the executive boards of many left-of-center organizations, including Planned Parenthood in the Hudson Vallley, LGBT advocacy group OutRight Action International, and New York Leadership for Accountable Government (NY LEAD), a coalition pushing for increased campaign finance regulation.[24] [25] [26]

Political Activity

Eldridge has been involved in politics both as an activist and a candidate, running for the United States Congress in New York’s 19th Congressional District in 2014 as the Democratic candidate.[27] The district is one of the most evenly politically divided in the country.

Eldridge challenged then-U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson, a Republican incumbent and former university professor with a decorated military history.[28] Gibson won the district in both 2010 and 2012, even though President Barack Obama carried the district by six percentage points in the 2012 election.[29]

Until 2012, Eldridge was looking to run in New York’s 18th District, purchasing a $5 million estate in the 18th District in order to be eligible to serve as a candidate there. Once another Democrat had won in the 18th District, Eldridge and Hughes paid $1.9 million in cash for a home in the 19th District.[30] In spite of massively outspending Rep. Gibson, Eldridge lost the election by 28 points.[31]

Eldridge made maximum contributions to the 2020 Presidential campaigns of U.S. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Kamala Harris (D-CA) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D).[32]

Eldridge also contributed to several congressional campaigns outside of New York in 2019, including $16,200 to Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), $5,600 to Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), and $2,800 to Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH).[33] In addition to giving directly to candidate campaign teams, Eldridge donated $15,000 to various left-of-center political action committees, including the DNC PAC and Students for a New American Politics PAC.[34]

References

  1. Lohr, Steve. “Chris Hughes Worked to Create Facebook. Now, He Is Working to Break It Up.” The New York Times. The New York Times, July 25, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/25/technology/chris-hughes-facebook-breakup.html. ^
  2. Isenstadt, Alex. “Facebook Co-Founder Hubby’s Brazen Run.” POLITICO, April 12, 2014.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/on-the-ground-sean-eldridge-chris-gibson-new-york-2014-elections-105498. ^

  3. Reindl, JC. “Former Ottawa Hills Resident to Wed Facebook Co-Founder.” Toledo Blade,

    February 27, 2011. https://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2011/02/27/Former-Ottawa-Hills-resident-to-wed-Facebook-co-founder.html. ^

  4. Reindl, JC. “Former Ottawa Hills Resident to Wed Facebook Co-Founder.” Toledo Blade, February 27, 2011. https://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2011/02/27/Former-Ottawa-Hills-resident-to-wed-Facebook-co-founder.html. ^
  5. Reindl, JC. “Former Ottawa Hills Resident to Wed Facebook Co-Founder.” Toledo Blade, February 27, 2011. https://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2011/02/27/Former-Ottawa-Hills-resident-to-wed-Facebook-co-founder.html. ^
  6. Reindl, JC. “Former Ottawa Hills Resident to Wed Facebook Co-Founder.” Toledo Blade, February 27, 2011. https://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2011/02/27/Former-Ottawa-Hills-resident-to-wed-Facebook-co-founder.html. ^
  7. Mallozzi, Vincent M. “Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge.” The New York Times. The New York Times, July 1, 2012. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/fashion/weddings/chris-hughes-sean-eldridge-weddings.html. ^
  8. D’Addario, Daniel. “The New Power Gays: NYC’s Top 50.” Observer. Observer, June 21, 2011. http://www.observer.com/2011/06/new-yorks-new-power-gays-the-top-50/#slide12. ^
  9. “Freedom to Marry.” Sean Eldridge. Accessed December 21, 2019.

    http://www.freedomtomarry.org/the-team/entry/Sean-Eldridge. ^

  10. Reindl, JC. “Former Ottawa Hills Resident to Wed Facebook Co-Founder.” Toledo Blade,

    February 27, 2011. https://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2011/02/27/Former-Ottawa-Hills-resident-to-wed-Facebook-co-founder.html. ^

  11. “Freedom to Marry.” Sean Eldridge. Accessed December 21, 2019. http://www.freedomtomarry.org/the-team/entry/Sean-Eldridge. ^
  12. Mallozzi, Vincent M. “Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge.” The New York Times. The New York Times, July 1, 2012. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/fashion/weddings/chris-hughes-sean-eldridge-weddings.html. ^
  13. Kaplan, Thomas. “With Cuomo, a New Group Will Push for Publicly Financed Elections.”

    The New York Times, June 25, 2012. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/nyregion/with-cuomo-new-group-will-push-for-publicly-financed-elections-in-new-york.html. ^

  14. Kaplan, Thomas. “With Cuomo, a New Group Will Push for Publicly Financed Elections.”

    The New York Times, June 25, 2012. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/nyregion/with-cuomo-new-group-will-push-for-publicly-financed-elections-in-new-york.html. ^

  15. Kaplan, Thomas. “With Cuomo, a New Group Will Push for Publicly Financed Elections.”

    The New York Times, June 25, 2012. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/nyregion/with-cuomo-new-group-will-push-for-publicly-financed-elections-in-new-york.html. ^

  16. “About.” Stand Up America. Accessed December 17, 2019. https://www.standupamerica.com/about-2-2/. ^
  17. Johnson, Jake. “’History Is Watching Us’: 600 Rallies Planned Nationwide on Trump

    Impeachment Eve.” Common Dreams, December 17, 2019. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/17/history-watching-us-600-rallies-planned-nationwide-trump-impeachment-eve. ^

  18. Higgins, Eoin. “Another Group Joins the Impeachment Chorus, Adding to Pressure on House

    Democrats.” Common Dreams, May 28, 2019. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/05/28/another-group-joins-impeachment-chorus-adding-pressure-house-democrats. ^

  19. Touchberry, Ramsey. “Liberal Activist Group’s New Campaign Bets $100K on Republicans

    Backing Trump Impeachment Probe.” Newsweek. Newsweek, October 29, 2019. https://www.newsweek.com/liberal-activist-groups-new-campaign-bets-100k-republicans-backing-trump-impeachment-probe-1467555. ^

  20. Mallozzi, Vincent M. “Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge.” The New York Times. The New

    York Times, July 1, 2012. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/fashion/weddings/chris-hughes-sean-eldridge-weddings.html. ^

  21. Isenstadt, Alex. “Facebook Co-Founder Hubby’s Brazen Run.” POLITICO, April 12, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/on-the-ground-sean-eldridge-chris-gibson-new-york-2014-elections-105498. ^
  22. Isenstadt, Alex. “Facebook Co-Founder Hubby’s Brazen Run.” POLITICO, April 12, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/on-the-ground-sean-eldridge-chris-gibson-new-york-2014-elections-105498. ^
  23. Isenstadt, Alex. “Facebook Co-Founder Hubby’s Brazen Run.” POLITICO, April 12, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/on-the-ground-sean-eldridge-chris-gibson-new-york-2014-elections-105498. ^
  24. Hamilton, Matthew. “Sean Eldridge Says Independence, Not Wealth, Is Key to Campaign.”

    Times Union. Times Union, August 25, 2014. https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Money-is-fault-line-for-2-candidates-5708168.php. ^

  25. “Sean Eldridge.” Freedom to Marry. Accessed December 17, 2019. http://www.freedomtomarry.org/the-team/entry/Sean-Eldridge. ^
  26. “Sean Eldridge.” Freedom to Marry. Accessed December 17, 2019. http://www.freedomtomarry.org/the-team/entry/Sean-Eldridge. ^
  27. “Sean Eldridge.” Freedom to Marry. Accessed December 17, 2019.

    http://www.freedomtomarry.org/the-team/entry/Sean-Eldridge. ^

  28. Isenstadt, Alex. “Facebook Co-Founder Hubby’s Brazen Run.” POLITICO, April 12, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/on-the-ground-sean-eldridge-chris-gibson-new-york-2014-elections-105498. ^
  29. Isenstadt, Alex. “Facebook Co-Founder Hubby’s Brazen Run.” POLITICO, April 12, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/on-the-ground-sean-eldridge-chris-gibson-new-york-2014-elections-105498. ^
  30. Isenstadt, Alex. “Facebook Co-Founder Hubby’s Brazen Run.” POLITICO, April 12, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/on-the-ground-sean-eldridge-chris-gibson-new-york-2014-elections-105498. ^
  31. Isenstadt, Alex. “Facebook Co-Founder Hubby’s Brazen Run.” POLITICO, April 12, 2014. https://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/on-the-ground-sean-eldridge-chris-gibson-new-york-2014-elections-105498. ^
  32. “Browse Individual Contributions: Sean Eldridge.” FEC.gov. Federal Elections Commission. Accessed December 17, 2019. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?data_type=processed&contributor_name=Sean+Eldridge&two_year_transaction_period=2020&min_date=01/01/2019&max_date=12/31/2020. ^
  33. “Browse Individual Contributions: Sean Eldridge.” FEC.gov. Federal Elections Commission. Accessed December 17, 2019. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?data_type=processed&contributor_name=Sean+Eldridge&two_year_transaction_period=2020&min_date=01/01/2019&max_date=12/31/2020. ^
  34. “Browse Individual Contributions: Sean Eldridge.” FEC.gov. Federal Elections Commission. Accessed December 17, 2019. https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?data_type=processed&contributor_name=Sean+Eldridge&two_year_transaction_period=2020&min_date=01/01/2019&max_date=12/31/2020. ^
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