Sean Eldridge, an investor and political activist, is poised to file paperwork establishing a campaign committee for a potential 2014 challenge to Republican Rep. Chris Gibson in NY-19, according to a source familiar with his plans.

The source said Eldridge will also file a statement of candidacy and is “seriously looking at a run” in two years.

Not long ago, Eldridge was perhaps best known for being the partner – and now husband – of co-founder Chris Hughes, with whom he lives in Shokan, Ulster County.

But in recent years, he has struck out on his own, founding a small business investment fund called Hudson River Ventures that focuses on the region’s burgeoning artisanal food and beverage industry, and also getting involved in the push for statewide campaign finance reform.

Hudson River Ventures, located in Kingston, has so far invested in the following businesses: Bread Alone (Boiceville), the Peekskill Brewery (Peekskill), RiverMarket (Tarrytown) and Hudson Chocolates (Poughkeepsie).

Last year, Eldridge created a political action committee called Protect Our Democracy, which he and Hughes seeded with $250,000 of their own money.

The PAC’s goal was to get the “big money” out of politics by pushing for a publicly funded campaign finance system.

It was one of two PACs that got involved in the 46th Senate District race, in which Democratic Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk defeated her GOP opponent, former Assemblyman George Amedore, by just 18 votes.

Since Tkaczyk’s come-from-behind win, advocates have argued there is momentum and a mandate for establishing a publicly funded system. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly said he supports the idea as part of a broader campaign finance package, but he hasn’t yet put forth any legislation.

Gibson, who casts himself as a pragmatist and moderate in his right-of-center House GOP conference, is going to be difficult to beat – particularly in a non-presidential election year that won’t see the surge of Democratic turnout seen this past fall.

Although he was running in a dramatically altered – and Democrat dominated – new district last year, Gibson managed to handily defeat his Democrat opponent, attorney and former Ulster County Democratic Party Chairman Julian Schreibman.

Eldridge certainly is getting a jump on things by launching his campaign this early.

He presumably won’t have much trouble with funding. This effort is in a very nascent stage, according to my source, but Eldridge has signed up a well-connected consulting firm – SKDKnickerbocker – to assist with his campaign.