Just three days after his husband Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes relaunched The New Republic, 26-year-old investor and activist Sean Eldridge filed papers to run for a seat in the House of Representatives. Eldridge filed a statement of organization for his campaign, "Sean Eldridge for Congress," and a statement of candidacy seeking the 19th District seat in New York's Hudson Valley. If he wins the primary, Eldridge will face off against Republican incumbent Chris Gibson, a two-term congressman and decorated war hero, in an area that went for Obama in last year's election. It won't be an easy race, but Eldridge is remarkably well-positioned to be a worthy contender for someone who was studying political philosophy at Brown less than five years ago. The fact that he has Chris "The Kid Who Made Obama President" Hughes and a fortune worth as much as three-quarters of a billion dollars certainly helps.
While it's always interesting to see someone who's barely old enough to run for Congress throw his name in the ring, it's not a huge surprise that Eldridge would seek public office. He was right out in front of the movement to legalize gay marriage in New York, working for Freedom to Marry before he started his own organization called Protect Our Democracy which focuses on campaign finance reform. Of course, Hughes's becoming pals with Obama during the 2008 presidential election has helped the couple gain prominence in the Democratic Party, and Eldridge served as delegate for New York's 19th district at the Democratic National Convention last year. He also donated over $30,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the folks who fund races for House Democrats, last year. When The New York Times flagged his political ambitions in a profile of the couple last May, Eldridge's candidacy seemed imminent.
So what happens now? Well, it'll probably be business as usual for Hughes and Eldridge for a little while. They'll continue to host events for prominent Democrats like Governor Andrew Cuomo at their SoHo loft, and they'll go to book parties. They'll probably also give away a bunch of money, but they'll do it thoughtfully. "We can always write a check," Eldridge told The Times when asked about Hughes's $700 million fortune, "but we thought it was more important to get our friends to support issues."