Sean Eldridge
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Sean Eldridge
Sean Eldridge
Sean Eldridge close, 2012.jpeg
Sean Simcha Eldridge

(1986-07-31) July 31, 1986 (age 33)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
EducationDeep Springs College
Brown University (BA)
Columbia University
Known forFreedom to Marry
Stand Up America
Political partyDemocratic
Chris Hughes (m. 2012)

Sean Eldridge (born July 31, 1986)[1] is a Canadian-born American political activist, former congressional candidate, and the founder and president of Stand Up America, a progressive advocacy community. Eldridge previously served as political director of Freedom to Marry,[2] the campaign to win recognition of same-sex marriage nationwide.

Early life and education

Eldridge was born in Montreal, Quebec, and became a U.S. citizen in 2006.[3] Eldridge grew up in the suburbs of Toledo, Ohio, and attended public school in Ottawa Hills, a village in Lucas County that is a bedroom community and suburb of Toledo. Both of his parents are medical doctors; his father, Steve Eldridge, is a radiologist, and his mother, Sarah Taub, is a family physician.[4][5][6]

His mother was born in Petah Tikva, Israel, to Jewish refugee parents, and his father converted to Judaism.[7][8] Eldridge held Israeli citizenship.[9]

He studied at Deep Springs College in Deep Springs, California, then graduated with a degree in philosophy from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island,[10] where he helped organize the national Students for Barack Obama campaign in 2007. Eldridge enrolled at Columbia Law School in New York City but withdrew to join Freedom to Marry after the New York State Senate voted against legalizing same-sex marriage in New York in December 2009.[4]

Early career

After the New York Senate failed to legalize same sex marriage in New York State in 2009, Eldridge joined Freedom to Marry, the campaign to win marriage equality nationwide. He served initially as communications director and then as political director, a role in which he helped lead the successful 2011 effort to legalize same-sex marriage in New York.[11] He currently serves as a senior advisor to the group.[12] Eldridge has debated opponents of same-sex marriage on Fox and ABC News Nightline.[13][14] The New York Observer ranked him as one of NY's Top 50 "most powerful gay figures" of 2011.[15]

Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York State, Eldridge founded the investment fund Hudson River Ventures in 2011 to address the growing issue of access to capital for small businesses in the Hudson Valley."[16] The fund has invested in more than a dozen businesses in the region, with a particular focus on food and beverage companies.[17][18] In 2013, Eldridge founded the Hudson Valley Advanced Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz, which trains students and workers on the use of 3-D printing technology.[19]

Since 2011, Eldridge has served on the board of directors of Scenic Hudson, "the largest environmental group focused on the Hudson Valley" and is a significant supporter of their climate change and waterfront protection programs.[20][21] Eldridge has also served as a Planned Parenthood board member.[22]

In 2012, he launched Protect Our Democracy PAC and New York Leadership for Accountable Government (NY LEAD), a bipartisan group of business and civic leaders advocating for campaign finance reform in New York State.[23][24][25][26]

Personal life

Eldridge attended U.S. President Barack Obama's first state dinner with Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes in 2009.[27] The couple was featured on the cover of The Advocate magazine's "Forty Under 40" issue in May 2011, and they were profiled in the New York Times in May 2012.[28][29]

Eldridge and Hughes announced their engagement in January 2011 at a reception in support of Freedom to Marry.[30] They married on June 30, 2012, and reside in Shokan, New York.[6] Eldridge and Hughes have funded advocacy groups and Democratic candidates across the U.S.[31][32][33]

Political career

Eldridge served as a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention for NY-19.[34]

In the weeks after the 2016 election, Eldridge started Stand Up America, which began as a Facebook page and grew into a self described community of over a million Americans resisting Donald Trump's alleged corruption, his alleged ties to Russia, and his legislative agenda.[35][36] Stand Up America was part of the People's Defense Coalition, which tried to block the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch[37][38] and helped organize the national Tax March on April 15, 2017 to call for the release of Trump's tax returns.[39]

2014 congressional campaign

In early 2013, Eldridge filed paperwork to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, challenging Republican incumbent Chris Gibson in New York's 19th congressional district.[40] The district has been described as "the quintessential swing district".[41] RealClearPolitics reported that "Eldridge's formidable strengths as a well-financed, eloquent messenger with powerful friends in the Democratic Party [were] obvious."[40] Eldridge "made campaign finance reform a key part of his platform, advocating for more transparency in the system, greater enforcement of the existing rules, and a small-dollar matching-funds system for congressional races."[40]

Eldridge and his husband, Chris Hughes, "purchased a $5 million estate in the town of Garrison in 2011, but then settled [in 2013] on a $2 million home in a neighboring district..."[42] After moving into the 19th Congressional District, "Eldridge set up a venture capital firm, Hudson River Ventures, that has provided millions in loans and equity lines to local companies."[43] Eldridge reportedly used Hughes's wealth "to build an elaborate campaign apparatus in a district where he remain[ed] a stranger to many. In addition to his firm's investments, Eldridge...promised to match each contribution he receive[d], dollar for dollar."[43]

On November 4, 2014, Eldridge lost the election[44] by 28 points[45] "despite having outspent his opponent nearly 3-to-1 in a district President Obama won by 6 percentage points."[46]

Electoral history

US House election, 2014: New York District 19[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sean S. Eldridge 60,533 28.8%
Working Families Sean S. Eldridge 11,937 5.7%
Total Sean S. Eldridge 72,470 34.5%
Republican Chris Gibson 102,118 48.5%
Conservative Chris Gibson 20,420 9.7%
Independence Chris Gibson 9,056 4.3%
Total Chris Gibson (Incumbent) 131,594 62.6%
None Blank/Void/Write-In 6,287 2.9%
Total votes 210,351 100%


  1. ^ Official Facebook page
  2. ^ "Sean Eldridge profile: Freedom to Marry". Retrieved .
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Reindl, JC (27 February 2011). "Former Ottawa Hills resident to wed Facebook co-founder". The Blade. Retrieved 2013.
  5. ^ Hernandez, Raymond (10 July 2013). "Young, Rich and Relocating Yet Again in Hunt for Political Office". New York Times. Retrieved 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge". New York Times. July 1, 2012.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Taylor, Matt. "Congressional Candidate Sean S. Eldridge Wants You To Know the 'S' Stands for 'Simcha'". Tablet. Retrieved 2014.
  9. ^ Lizza, Ryan (2014-12-12). "Inside the Collapse of The New Republic". The New Yorker. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Holson, Laura (4 May 2012). "A Powerful Combination". New York Times. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ "Freedom to Marry Staff Bios". Freedom to Marry. Archived from the original on 2012-05-09.
  12. ^ "Sean Eldridge | Freedom to Marry". Retrieved .
  13. ^ Video (8:47 minutes; requires Adobe Flash Player) (November 12, 2010). "Judge's Ouster Stirs Debate — Iowans Vote Out State Judges over Same Sex Marriage Ruling". Fox News. Retrieved 2011.
  14. ^ Video (5:33 minutes; requires Adobe Flash Player) (August 10, 2010). "Should Same Sex Marriage Be Legalized? — Part 1: Panelists Debate over the Right For Gays To Marry". ABC News Nightline. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ "The New Power Gays: NYC's Top 50". New York Observer. June 21, 2011.
  16. ^ "Scenic Hudson has new board members". The Journal News. December 9, 2011.
  17. ^ Wolff, Craig. "Love for Hudson Valley guides investor". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved 2013.
  18. ^ Dinapoli, Jessica. "New Windsor organic grower plans $5.7M expansion". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved 2013.
  19. ^ "SUNY New Paltz will be home to 3-D printing initiative". Daily Freeman. Retrieved 2013.
  20. ^ "International Business and Social Media Leaders Add to Heft of Scenic Hudson Board". December 7, 2011.
  21. ^ "Scenic Hudson gets $100K for flood control efforts in Kingston, other waterfront communities". Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ Hamilton, Matthew (August 25, 2014). "Sean Eldridge says independence, not wealth, is key to campaign". Times Union. Retrieved 2018.
  23. ^ "Wealthy Donors Join Effort to Improve Campaign Finance System". New York Times. February 15, 2012.
  24. ^ "Group Forms to Aid Campaign Finance Reform Push". Politics on the Hudson. February 15, 2012.
  25. ^ "With Cuomo, a New Group Will Push for Publicly Financed Elections". New York Times. June 25, 2011.
  26. ^ "Sean Eldridge Wants to Curb the Influence of Big Donors--Like Himself". Mother Jones.
  27. ^ Staff (November 24, 2009). "A Place at the State Dinner Table". The Advocate. Retrieved 2011.
  28. ^ "Forty Under 40: Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge". The Advocate. May 2011. Archived from the original on April 14, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  29. ^ "A Powerful Combination". New York Times. May 4, 2011.
  30. ^ "Engaging News of Facebook". NY Post. January 15, 2011.
  31. ^ Staff (November 29, 2010). "Gay Rights Orgs Double Up". The Advocate. Retrieved 2011.
  32. ^ "Cuomo focuses on gay marriage but nothing deters the chase for millions of dollars". New York Daily News. May 1, 2011.
  33. ^ "After Pushing Gay Marriage, Cuomo Is Thanked With Money". New York Times. December 1, 2011.
  34. ^ "Which New Yorkers are Obama Delegates?". PolitickerNY. January 11, 2012. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012.
  35. ^ "Stand Up America: About Us". Retrieved .
  36. ^ "Facebook's anti-Trump news surge". Politico. Retrieved .
  37. ^ "Liberal groups increase pressure over Gorsuch nomination". Politico. Retrieved .
  38. ^ "Liberals Launch New Anti-Gorsuch Campaign". Politico. Retrieved .
  39. ^ "Protesters plan 'Tax March' on Washington demanding Trump's tax returns". The Hill. Retrieved .
  40. ^ a b c Fama, Jilian. "Sean Eldridge, Husband of Facebook Co-Founder, Running for Congress". Retrieved 2013.
  41. ^
  42. ^ Conroy, Scott (November 12, 2013). "Ambitious Sean Eldridge Polishes His Message". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved 2018.
  43. ^ a b Isenstadt, Alex (April 9, 2014). "Facebook co-founder hubby's brazen run". Politico. Retrieved 2018.
  44. ^ Byers, Dylan (November 11, 2014). "NY-19: Sean Eldridge concedes defeat". Politico. Retrieved 2015.
  45. ^ a b "NYS Board of Elections" (PDF). NYS Board of Elections. Retrieved .
  46. ^ Kirchick, James (December 8, 2014). "The Rise and Fall of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge, America's Worst Gay Power Couple". Daily Beast. Retrieved 2015.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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