|Born||Sean Simcha Eldridge
July 31, 1986
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Alma mater||Deep Springs College
|Known for||Freedom to Marry|
|Spouse(s)||Chris Hughes (m. 2012)|
Sean Simcha Eldridge (born July 31, 1986) is an American activist and investor. He is the president of Hudson River Ventures, an investment fund that focuses on small businesses in New York's Hudson Valley region. He is also an advocate for environmental protection, LGBT equality and campaign finance reform. Eldridge ran as a Democratic candidate for New York's 19th congressional district in 2014.
Early life and education
Eldridge was born in Montreal, Quebec, in the Canadian province of Quebec, and became a U.S. citizen in 2006. 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. His mother was born in Petah Tikva, Israel, to Jewish refugee parents, and his father converted to Judaism. Eldridge held Israeli citizenship.
He studied at Deep Springs College in Deep Springs, California, then graduated with a degree in philosophy from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, 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.
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. He currently serves as a senior advisor to the group. Eldridge has debated opponents of gay rights on Fox News.com and ABC News Nightline. The New York Observer ranked him as one of NY's Top 50 "most powerful gay figures" of 2011.
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." The fund has invested in more than a dozen businesses in the region, with a particular focus on food and beverage companies. 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.
Eldridge serves 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.
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.
He and his husband, Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, fund advocacy groups and Democratic candidates across the U.S. They attended U.S. President Barack Obama's first state dinner in 2009.
In early 2013, he filed paperwork to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014, challenging incumbent Chris Gibson in New York's 19th congressional district. On November 4, 2014 Eldridge lost that election by 29 points.
|Democratic||Sean S. Eldridge||55,839||28.31|
|Working Families||Sean S. Eldridge||11,185||5.67|
|Total||Sean S. Eldridge||67,024||33.98|
|Total||Chris Gibson (Incumbent)||124,477||63.10|
- Official Facebook page
- "Freedom to Marry Staff Bios". Freedom to Marry.
- Reindl, JC (27 February 2011). "Former Ottawa Hills resident to wed Facebook co-founder". The Blade. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
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- "Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge". New York Times. July 1, 2012.
- Taylor, Matt. "Congressional Candidate Sean S. Eldridge Wants You To Know the 'S' Stands for 'Simcha'". Tablet. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- Lizza, Ryan (2014-12-12). "Inside the Collapse of The New Republic". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2015-12-11.
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- 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 January 19, 2011.
- 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 January 19, 2011.
- "The New Power Gays: NYC's Top 50". New York Observer. June 21, 2011.
- "Scenic Hudson has new board members". The Journal News. December 9, 2011.
- Wolff, Craig. "Love for Hudson Valley guides investor". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- Dinapoli, Jessica. "New Windsor organic grower plans $5.7M expansion". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- "SUNY New Paltz will be home to 3-D printing initiative". Daily Freeman. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
- "International Business and Social Media Leaders Add to Heft of Scenic Hudson Board". December 7, 2011.
- "Scenic Hudson gets $100K for flood control efforts in Kingston, other waterfront communities". Retrieved 31 January 2013.
- "Wealthy Donors Join Effort to Improve Campaign Finance System". New York Times. February 15, 2012.
- "Group Forms to Aid Campaign Finance Reform Push". Politics on the Hudson. February 15, 2012.
- "With Cuomo, a New Group Will Push for Publicly Financed Elections". New York Times. June 25, 2011.
- "Sean Eldridge Wants to Curb the Influence of Big Donors—Like Himself". Mother Jones.
- Staff (November 29, 2010). "Gay Rights Orgs Double Up". The Advocate. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
- "Cuomo focuses on gay marriage but nothing deters the chase for millions of dollars". New York Daily News. May 1, 2011.
- "After Pushing Gay Marriage, Cuomo Is Thanked With Money". New York Times. December 1, 2011.
- Staff (November 24, 2009). "A Place at the State Dinner Table". The Advocate. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
- "Forty Under 40: Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge". The Advocate. May 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
- "A Powerful Combination". New York Times. May 4, 2011.
- "Engaging News of Facebook". NY Post. January 15, 2011.
- "Which New Yorkers are Obama Delegates?". PolitickerNY. January 11, 2012.
- Fama, Jilian. "Sean Eldridge, Husband of Facebook Co-Founder, Running for Congress". abcnews.go.com. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
- Byers, Dylan (November 11, 2014). "NY-19: Sean Eldridge concedes defeat". Politico. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- "NYS Board of Elections". NYS Board of Elections. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2014-11-14.
- Sean Eldridge for Congress official campaign website