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Gibson formally announces campaign; Opponent’s wealth becomes an issue

By Fritz Mayer
April 22, 2014

NY 19TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT — Two-term Congressman Chris Gibson formally announced that he is running for another term in the 19th District, which includes Sullivan, Delaware ,Ulster, part of Orange and six other counties.

The official launch party was on April 22 in Gibson’s hometown of Kinderhook, but it’s been widely known for some time that he would be making another run.

Gibson, who has been called the most “liberal” Republican in the Congress and who has embraced the centrist label, is being challenged this year by a wealthy opponent from the left, in the person of Sean Eldridge.

Eldridge’s website describes him as “founder and president of Hudson River Ventures—a small business investment fund,” and an article in the Poughkeepsie Journal says Eldridge is donating money to his own campaign by matching contributions from small donors. His website says he has raised $520,000 in the first quarter of 2014.

His opponents say much of his funding is coming from his partner, Facebook co-founder and New Republic publisher Chris Hughes. On a news program on YNN on April 19, Gibson said of his challenger, “He married into money. He did well on that score. Anything that I’m saying here you can’t refute it. These are just facts. He moved into the district after the last election. He has relatively no experience. He has absolutely no ties to the districts and it shows in the issues.”

Eldridge moved into the district after the last election, which was formed after the departure of longtime liberal Congressman Maurice Hinchey. It’s a district that is increasingly seen as Democratic and interested parties of both sides of the political spectrum are saying that this election is one to watch.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is clearly taking a special interest. If you search Eldridge’s name on Google, at least with the Firefox Browser, the top site that pops up is www.seaneldridgeforcongress2014.com, which was created by NRCC, although at first viewers might believe they are looking at an official Eldridge site. But, the first post on the home page says, “Multi-millionaire Sean Eldridge is running for Congress so that he can take his rightful place alongside the liberal elitist establishment in Washington D.C. that is seeking to return America to the one-party rule of 2008-10. Sean is hoping to buy your support in the coming 18 months and he put a big down payment on that purchase when he bought his new $2 million mansion in Shokan so that he could run for Congress.”