Posted at: 09/23/2013 12:42 PM
Updated at: 09/23/2013 6:11 PM
By: WNYT Staff
Chris Gibson picked up an opponent overnight, for an election that's more than 13 months away.
A young newcomer to the district, Sean Eldridge, announced he'd seek the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican Gibson.
Eldridge has enough money to make himself a very serious challenger.
There are two ways to guarantee you'll be taken very seriously in modern American politics.
Be born with a famous name, Kennedy or Cuomo will do.
Or enter the race with a big container full of money, which Sean Eldridge has.
Rather than call a news conference where reporters will show up and insist on asking questions you might not want to answer, post you own self-produced announcement online. That's what Sean Eldridge did.
“We need an independent voice who will fight for us,” Eldridge says in the online announcement.
A lot of people have been waiting and watching for the Eldridge announcement. How many first time Congressional candidates get a big profile story in the New York Times a couple months before they even enter the race?
The newspaper noted his same sex marriage to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and pictured the two men. Eldridge made no mention of the partnership and showed no picture in his video.
Last year, Republican State Senator Steve Saland lost his seat in the Gibson district after supplying one of the three GOP votes to pass same sex marriage in New York.
“You know, generally House races do not turn on social issues but there is the issue of gay marriage here. We know that Sean Eldridge was a very important actor in Freedom To Marry, a very important actor in getting New York State legislators to approve gay marriage in the state. Chris Gibson, while for civil unions, continues to be against gay marriage,” said Ron Seyb, a political science professor at Skidmore College.
Gibson was staying far away from reporters on Monday. His spokeswoman put out a short statement most notable for claiming “the race will test the hypothesis of whether Congressional seats can be bought”.
Gibson is Moderate, even Liberal by Republican standards.
Eldridge is Liberal by Democratic standards.
How that plays out, whether the sequester and the 40 Republican votes to defund Obamacare affect either campaign, the looming government shutdown. All those are issues to consider, along with who's married to whom and whether anybody cares.