NY Rep. Sean Maloney to Marry Partner Amid Campaign

Friday, 20 Jun 2014 07:09 PM

By Cathy Burke

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New York Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney is sprinting toward a crucial primary Tuesday – but not before he strolls down the aisle with longtime partner Randy Florke.

"You know man, you've got to dance between the raindrops,'' he told USA Today about his schedule, which recently included a trip to Afghanistan with other lawmakers.

"There's real work to do, and I don't plan to stop doing that work because there are other important events in my life. I pride myself on being able to prioritize my family and my children, but also do the work I was hired to do.''

Maloney, 47, will be among the first gay members of Congress to be legally married; the nuptials are planned for Saturday at a historic Episcopal church in suburban Cold Spring, N.Y., where the couple and their three children, ages 11 to 24, live.

Maloney said he doesn't know if the marriage will change voters' view of him, noting "it's not a subject that I approach with the political part of my brain."

"It's too important," he told the newspaper. "We're talking about my life, and there are things more important to me than Congress. And my family is one of them.''

Maloney became engaged on Christmas Day, a decision his youngest child, Essie, helped the couple make, writing a letter to Santa asking that her parents get married.

In July 2012, former Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts became the first gay lawmaker to marry while serving in Congress. Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, married in Canada in 2006, is the only other lawmaker in a same-sex marriage, USA Today reported.

Maloney told the newspaper he’ll take Sunday off, but then he’ll be readying for Tuesday’s election, when he’ll run against Republican former Rep. Nan Hayworth – whom he narrowly defeated in 2012.

The Independence Party ballot line could help determine the winner in the November election in the 18th Congressional District, the Journal News reported.

The district is the only one in the state with an Independence Party primary this year.

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