Sean Patrick Maloney

For other people named Sean Maloney, see Sean Maloney (disambiguation).

Sean Patrick Maloney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Nita Lowey
White House Staff Secretary
In office
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Phillip Caplan
Succeeded by Lisel Loy
Personal details
Born (1966-07-30) July 30, 1966
Sherbrooke, Canada[1]
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Randy Florke (2014–present)
Children 3
Alma mater Georgetown University
University of Virginia (BA, JD)
Website House website

Sean Patrick Maloney (born July 30, 1966) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party who has served as the U.S. Representative for New York's 18th congressional district since 2013. Born in the Canadian province of Quebec, and raised in nearby Hanover, New Hampshire, he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. He entered politics as a volunteer for Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns, and later served as his senior West Wing adviser and White House Staff Secretary. After the Clinton Administration, he served as the First Deputy Secretary to New York Governors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.

Prior to being elected to Congress, he worked as an executive in a private equity firm and as an attorney. In 2006 he ran in the Democratic primary for New York Attorney General, but came in third to Mark J. Green and winner Andrew Cuomo. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 after defeating Republican incumbent Nan Hayworth. He campaigned for the election as a moderate and is a member of the New Democrat Coalition.[2][3] He is the first openly gay person to be elected to Congress from New York.

Early life, education, and early career

Maloney was born on July 30, 1966, in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada to United States citizen parents. Maloney's father's work as a lumberjack had temporarily brought them to Canada. Maloney grew up in nearby Hanover, New Hampshire, a town located in the New Hampshire-Vermont border, and 232.0 km south of Sherbrooke. Maloney was raised with his six siblings in what he describes as a "small Irish Catholic family."[4][5]

After attending Georgetown University for two years, Maloney transferred to the University of Virginia where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in international relations in 1988.[5] After earning his undergraduate degree, Maloney spent a year volunteering with Jesuit priests in the slums of Chimbote, Peru.[1][4] Afterwards Maloney returned to the U.S. and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1992.[4]

From 2000 to 2003, Maloney served as Chief Operating Officer of Kiodex, Inc.[6] Maloney was a senior attorney at the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, during which time he represented the Matthew Shepard Foundation.[7] In March 2011 he joined the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as a partner.[8]

Early political career

Clinton association

In 1991, Maloney began working on Bill Clinton's first campaign for President as Deputy to Susan Thomases, the chief scheduler, and in Clinton's re-election campaign Maloney worked as Director of Surrogate Travel.[5] After the successful campaign Maloney was offered a position in the White House staff and served as a senior advisor and White House Staff Secretary from 1999 through 2000, among the youngest to serve in that capacity.[9][10] At a campaign event Clinton stated that Maloney worked closely with him.[11]

Following the killing of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, Maloney was one of two representatives Clinton sent to his funeral. In an article about the event, a newspaper noted that Maloney often refers to himself as "the highest ranking openly homosexual man on the White House staff."[4][9]

2006 Attorney General election

Maloney ran for the Democratic nomination for New York Attorney General in 2006. According to Gay City News, Maloney's "competitive fundraising and wide travels across the state during the past year have impressed many party professionals with the seriousness of his run."[12][13] During the campaign, Maloney was endorsed by the Empire State Pride Agenda, a New-York-state-based gay rights organization; and Karen Burstein, the first lesbian to run for Attorney General in 1994.[14]

Consistently polling in the single digits, Maloney was offered a chance to run for the office on the Liberal Party ticket, but declined, saying he would support whoever won the Democratic nomination.[15] Maloney came in third in the September 12, 2006, election, obtaining 9.4% of the vote against Andrew Cuomo, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and son of past Governor Mario Cuomo; and Mark Green, former New York City Public Advocate. In his concession speech, Maloney said "this day may not be the outcome we hope, but I make you a promise that there will be another day."[16]

Secretary to the Governor

Maloney joined Governor Eliot Spitzer's administration in January 2007 as First Deputy Secretary under top adviser Rich Baum.[17]

The Eliot Spitzer political surveillance controversy (popularly known as "Troopergate") broke out on July 23, 2007, when New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office admonished Spitzer's administration for ordering the State Police to create special records of Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno's whereabouts when he traveled with police escorts in New York City.[18] A New York Times editorial suggested that Maloney might have been involved by withholding emails during the investigation,[19] and the Times endorsed Maloney's 2012 election opponent because of its concerns about Maloney's handling of the investigation.[20] The Wall Street Journal wrote in July 2012, "generally, those involved in the investigation on both sides defend Mr. Maloney's conduct. Mr. Cuomo's chief of staff at the time, Steve Cohen, called the idea that Mr. Maloney got in the way of the Attorney General's inquiry 'misinformed to the point of being laughable.'"[8]

Maloney continued in the same role as a top adviser to Governor David Paterson's administration under his top adviser, Charles O'Byrne.[21] While working for Paterson, Maloney worked on Paterson's effort to increase state aid to education.[22] On December 3, 2008, Maloney announced that he would leave Governor Paterson's office to join the law firm Kirkland & Ellis.[23]

U.S. House of Representatives


A man wearing a jacket, shirt, dark jeans and loafers, leaning forward and shaking hands with an older man wearing a black baseball hat and blue windbreaker.
Maloney campaigning in Walden

In March 2012, Maloney announced his intention to run for New York's newly-drawn 18th congressional district. The district had previously been the 19th district, represented by freshman Republican Nan Hayworth. Maloney won the Democratic primary on June 26 with 48% of the vote, winning against four other challengers.[24] In addition to the Democratic Party line, Maloney also ran on the Working Families Party ticket with New York's fusion voting.[25]

Maloney drew criticism for the fact that he bought a house in Cold Springs before the election, never having previously lived in the district.[26] On June 11, former President Bill Clinton announced his endorsement of Maloney, saying "I support Sean because I know he’ll be an outstanding member of Congress."[27] On October 21, The New York Times endorsed Maloney, stating that his opponent "has favored limiting contraception coverage for employees and voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Mr. Maloney promises to support health care reform, help the middle class and oppose tax cuts for the rich. We recommend Mr. Maloney."[28] Maloney also was endorsed by Planned Parenthood, and the AFL-CIO and New York State United Teachers Union.[29][30]

In the general election Maloney campaigned as a moderate[2][31] and defeated Hayworth 52%–48%. During his victory speech, Maloney said, "I think people want change in Washington... They're tired of the fighting and the bickering."[32] Maloney is New York's first openly gay member of Congress.[33]


Maloney ran for re-election, defeating Nan Hayworth.[34][35] Maloney was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program, designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[36] Maloney lost the Independence Party primary to Hayworth, but ultimately defeated her in the general election by under 3,000 votes, with Maloney receiving 84,415 votes (47.58%) to Hayworth's 81,625 (46.01%).[37]


Maloney is running for re-election in 2016. Fellow Democrat Diana Hird announced her intention to challenge him in the primary election on June 28, 2016, but failed to obtain the necessary number of signatures and file a petition to get on the ballot in time.[38][39][40]


On January 3, 2013, Maloney was sworn in to the 113th United States Congress. On his second day in office, Maloney spoke on the House floor, criticizing a delay in federal Hurricane Sandy aid, and urging House Speaker John Boehner and his colleagues to pass an aid package.[41]

In his first 100 days in office, he held a grand opening event of his district office in Newburgh, New York. Maloney was the first elected official to open an office in Newburgh in at least three decades.[42]

After joining the "No Labels Problem Solvers" caucus, Maloney supported the "No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013".[43] Leading up to the 2013 government shutdown, Maloney faced criticism for voting with Republicans to pass a budget which included provisions delaying the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. His vote drew the ire of LGBT groups, some accusing him of being a "Democrat In Name Only" ("DINO").[44] He has been an outspoken critic of sequestration and the harmful effects it would have on the United States Military Academy at West Point, and sent a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, asking for flexibility in his district.[45] During the shutdown Maloney requested that his pay be withheld in solidarity with federal workers.[46]

In April of his first year in office, Maloney introduced the Creating Reliability for Our Producers Act, the Dam Safety Act, and the Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act.[47] In October 2013, the House passed Maloney's Disabled Veterans Red Tape Reduction Act with near unanimous support. Maloney's bill would allow disabled veterans to have their medical examinations performed by physicians outside the Veterans Affairs system.[48]

In June 2013, Maloney voted against the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The purpose of the bill is to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[49]

In July 2013, Maloney voted to reject the Farm Bill. The comprehensive farm bill failed in the House due largely in part to the votes of 8 Democratic House members who joined the Republican majority to vote down the measure.[50]

An issue arising in his election to Congress was whether the candidates would vote to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); while Hayworth was considered more progressive on gay rights than most Republicans, she did not explicitly say whether she would vote to repeal, stating her belief that the New York law allowing same-sex marriage made it a settled issue, for which Maloney criticized her.[33] Following the Supreme Court's ruling which struck down provisions of DOMA, Maloney remarked at a press conference he was "no longer seen as less-than in the eyes of my country,"[51] having previously faced discrimination in the House, with his partner not eligible for benefits as most heterosexual members' partners would be.[52]

On April 10, 2014, Maloney introduced the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (H.R. 4449; 113th Congress), a bill that would require regular training and briefings for some federal government personnel to raise awareness of human trafficking and help employees spot cases of it.[53][54] The bill passed in the House on July 23, 2014.[55]

In July 2014, the FAA began an investigation into whether unmanned aircraft used for Maloney’s wedding violated the agency’s ban on drone flights. A spokesman for Maloney, who is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s aviation subcommittee which oversees the FAA, acknowledged that drones were hired.[56][57][58]

Committee assignments

Maloney serves on the following committees:[59]

Caucus memberships

Personal life

Maloney has been with his partner Randy Florke since 1992, when they met in New York City where Maloney was helping plan the Democratic National Convention. Together they have three adopted children.[4] Florke is an interior decorator who has been featured in O, The Oprah Magazine.[64] Maloney and his family live in the Putnam County community of Cold Spring, New York. On January 14, 2014, Maloney announced that he and Florke had become engaged on Christmas Day 2013.[65] On June 21, 2014, he and Florke were married in Cold Spring, New York.[66] Maloney became the second member of Congress to legally marry his same-sex partner while in office, the first being former Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts), in 2012.[67]


  1. 1 2 "Sean Patrick Maloney". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  2. 1 2 Chris McKenna (2012-11-02). "Final stretch for Hayworth, Maloney". Archived from the original on December 3, 2013.
  3. 1 2 "Membership, New Democrat Coalition". New Democrat Coalition. United States House of Representatives. May 1, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 "Sean Patrick Maloney profile". GLBTQ. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  5. 1 2 3 "New York, 18th House District". National Journal. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  6. "Sean Patrick Maloney says jobs are top priority, cites his experience in race against Rep. Nan Hayworth". Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  7. Duncan Osborne (December 16–22, 2004). "'20/20' Coordination Faulted". Gay City News. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  8. 1 2 Andrew Grossman (July 19, 2012). "Candidate's Résumé Gets New Scrutiny". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  9. 1 2 "Maloney Highlights Clinton Connection In 1st NY-18 Mailer". Your News Now. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  10. "Maloney 'absolutely committed' to job growth". West Fair Online. January 17, 2013. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  11. "Bill Clinton Backs Sean Patrick Maloney In NY-18". Daily News (New York). June 11, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
  12. Geoffrey Gray (August 27, 2006). "Maloney doesn't expect to be the next attorney general, but he hopes he's made a good first impression". New York (magazine). Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  13. Paul Schindler (April 20–26, 2006). "ESPA Endorses Maloney's AG Bid". Gay City News. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  14. Paul Schindler (May 1–7, 2006). "Karen Burstein Backs Sean Maloney". Gay City News. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  15. Elizabeth Benjamin (May 12, 2006). "Maloney To Liberal Party: No Thanks". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  16. James M. Odato (September 12, 2006). "Maloney "Victory Speech Looks To Future". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  17. "First Deputy Secretary To The Governor – Sean Patrick Maloney Biography". New York. November 16, 2007. Archived from the original on November 16, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  18. Danny Hakim (July 23, 2007). "Spitzer's Staff Misused Police, Report Finds". The New York Times. Retrieved March 29, 2008.
  19. Hernandez, Raymond (October 18, 2012). "G.O.P. Congresswoman in Fight to Retain a Hudson Valley Seat". New York Times. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  20. "Primary Day is June 26". New York Times. June 15, 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  21. "Sean Maloney Eyes House Run". Your News Now. February 3, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  22. "Sean Patrick Maloney Seeks to Redefine Role of Congressional Rep". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  23. Azi Paybarah (December 9, 2008). "Spitzer Aide to Join Spitzer Prosecutor at Kirkland & Ellis". The New York Observer. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  24. "18th District: Maloney wins primary, according to Associated Press". Poughkeepsie Journal. June 26, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  25. Jimmy Vielkind (September 25, 2012). "Maloney lands on WFP line". Times Union (Albany). Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  26. Grossman, Andrew (July 19, 2012). "Candidate's Résumé Gets New Scrutiny". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  27. "Bill Clinton Backs Sean Patrick Maloney In NY-18". Daily News (New York). June 11, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  28. "For Congress From New York and Connecticut". The New York Times. October 21, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  29. "Hudson Valley Press Online: Planned Parenthood fund endorses Sean Maloney". Hudson Valley Press Online. October 10, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  30. "Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney Racks Up Nods From NYS AFL-CIO And NYSUT In NY-18 Bid". Daily News (New York). June 8, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  31. "New York, 18th House District Sean Patrick Maloney (D)".
  32. John W. Barry (November 7, 2012). "Maloney heading to Washington after defeating Hayworth". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  33. 1 2 Julie Bolcer (November 7, 2012). "Gay Congressional Winner Makes History in New York". The Advocate. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  34. "Live election results: June 24". Washington Post. Jun 25, 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  35. Levine, Sam (November 5, 2014). "Nan Hayworth Defeated By Sean Patrick Maloney In New York Congressional Race". Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  36. "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013–2014 Frontline Members". Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. March 5, 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  37. "Hayworth defeats Maloney in Independence Party primary". Times Union. Jun 24, 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  38. "Cold Spring attorney to challenge Maloney in Democratic primary". Mid-Hudson News Network. January 11, 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  39. Foley, Kevin (January 8, 2016). "Maloney Faces Challenge From Within Party". Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  40. "Maloney, two Republicans petition to run for NY18 seat". Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  41. "Congress OKs 1st part of Sandy aid". Times Herald-Record. July 5, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013.
  42. Michael Novinson (April 7, 2013). "Newburgh welcomes Rep. Maloney's office". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  43. Barbara Nackman (January 23, 2013). "Maloney say "No budget, No pay"". Politics on the Hudson. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  44. Chris Johnson (October 2, 2013). "Gay, bi lawmakers criticized for joining GOP on Obamacare vote". Washington Blade. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  45. "Representative Maloney asks for sequester flexibility". Your News Now. March 28, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  46. Allison Dunn (October 3, 2013). "NY Congressman Requests No Pay During Shutdown". WMAC. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  47. "Sponsored Bills". Participatory Politics Foundation. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013.
  48. Jeremiah Horrigan (October 29, 2013). "Rep. Maloney's anti-red tape bill for veterans passes House overwhelmingly". Times Herald-Record. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  49. "Sean Patrick Maloney's Political Summary on Issue: Abortion". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  50. Steinbach, David (2013-07-16). "Agribusiness and the Farm Bill: Wayward Dems Benefit from Contributions". Open Secrets. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  51. "Maloney: I'm 'no longer seen as less-than in the eyes of my country'". The Washington Post. June 26, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  52. Jeremy W. Peters (January 25, 2013). "Openly Gay, and Openly Welcomed in Congress". The New York Times. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  53. Marcos, Cristina (24 July 2014). "House passes bills to prevent human trafficking". The Hill. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  54. "H.R. 4449 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  55. "H.R. 4449 – All Actions". United States Congress. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  56. Lowy, Joan (2014-07-16). "FAA investigates congressman's drone wedding video". KXNews CBS. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  57. "Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney Hires Drone For Wedding Despite FAA Ban". CBS New York. 2014-07-16. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  58. Crovitz, Gordon (2014-07-20). "A Congressman's Drone Disobedience". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  59. "Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.)". Roll Call (CQ).
  60. "Maloney Joins "No Labels" Congressional Group". MidHudson News. March 11, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  61. "United States of America v. Edith Schlain Windsor and Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the United States House of Representatives" (PDF). United States Supreme Court. March 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  62. Kathy Castor. "Children's Health Care Caucus". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  63. Thomas J. Rooney. "Congressional Lupus Caucus". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
  64. "Home Suite Home". Oprah (magazine). Spring 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  65. Sean Maloney, Democratic Congressman, Engaged To Marry Same-Sex Partner
  66. Schutzman, Nina (June 22, 2014). "Rep. Maloney marries longtime partner". Poughkeepsie Journal. Retrieved June 22, 2014.
  67. "New York's first openly gay Congressman marries longtime partner". New York City News.Net. Retrieved 23 June 2014.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sean Patrick Maloney.
Political offices
Preceded by
Phillip Caplan
White House Staff Secretary
Succeeded by
Lisel Loy
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Nita Lowey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 18th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Michelle Lujan Grisham
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mark Meadows
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