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Husband of Facebook co-founder launches challenge to Rep. Gibson

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He announced Monday in a campaign video that he'll challenge Rep. Chris Gibson, a centrist Republican and top Democratic target who represents New York's 19th District.

In the video, he calls himself an "independent voice" and touts his Hudson Valley ties.

"I love the Hudson Valley. It's where I’m building my family, my home, and my business. Right now the voices of everyday New Yorkers are being drowned out by the special interests and party politics causing gridlock in Washington," he says.

Eldridge bought a home in the district earlier this year and began exploring a bid, a move that prompted Republicans to accuse him of carpetbagging and inspired a New York Times article about his moves about the state in search of a favorable region to run in.

He's already been the subject of attacks from the National Republican Congressional Committee for his personal wealth, with the committee launching a standalone site and paid Web advertising campaign accusing him of attempting to "buy a congressional seat."

"One thing is clear, this race will test the hypothesis of whether Congressional seats can be bought," said Stephanie Valle, a spokeswoman for Gibson.

Eldridge is the president and co-founder of Hudson River Ventures, an investment fund for small businesses in the area, and has been active in the fight for same-sex marriage rights. He married Hughes last year, after gay marriage was legalized in New York.

He's a top recruit for Democrats, and is expected to spend a significant sum of his own money to help finance his bid. 

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