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Sean Eldridge Passes on Another House Bid in New York

Eldridge won't run for the seat Gibson, above, is vacating. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Sean Eldridge, who failed to unseat Rep. Chris Gibson in 2014, told Vanity Fair that he will not mount another bid to represent New York's 19th District.  

The district, which President Barack Obama carried twice, is a top Democratic target, and with Gibson retiring  at the end of this term, and Hillary Rodham Clinton likely topping the ticket, Democrats are looking at the open seat as one of their best pickup opportunities. The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Tossup.  

While Democrats want a competitive candidate in the district, Eldridge was not the one. The husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Eldridge had plenty of resources at his disposal last cycle, but he lost to Gibson by 29 points.  

His wealth was part of the problem . A New York Times profile immediately put him at odds with his blue-collar district . The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did not reserve airtime on his behalf, and the National Republican Congressional Committee attacked him as a carpetbagger .  

The website New York State of Politics  mentions Ulster County Executive Mike Hein and former state Sen. Terry Gipson as possible Democratic recruits. GOP Assemblyman Peter Lopez, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro have been mentioned as Republican contenders, according to the site.  

“Few things have such a clear ending as a campaign,” Eldridge told Vanity Fair. He said he plans to devote his energies to LGBT rights advocacy, campaign finance reform and promoting liberal arts education. The Vanity Fair profile takes a larger look at the buzz around Eldridge and Hughes' high-profile relationship saying, “in the space of two and a half years, the glitter had dulled.”  

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