A reader emailed a tip earlier today that Sean Patrick Maloney, a former top aide in the Spitzer and Paterson administrations, is mulling a potential House run in whatever becomes of NY-22 – the district currently held by retiring Rep. Maurice Hinchey – when LATFOR gets done drawing the congressional lines.

Maloney is a New York City resident, but he and his partner, Randy Florke, have owned property in Sullivan County since the mid-1990s and Florke’s real estate business, The Rural Connection, is based there.

I spoke briefly to Maloney earlier today, and he confirmed that he had received encouragement to consider running following Hinchey’s announcement last month that he would not seek re-election this fall. Maloney then emailed the following statement:

“Hinchey’s retirement is a big loss to all of us who love the area. I’m flattered to be encouraged. Obviously, we need to know where the lines fall – but I’m very interested.”

This would not be Maloney’s first foray into realm of electoral politics. Back in 2006, he ran in the Democratic primary for state attorney general and finished third. (The winner of that race was Andrew Cuomo).

Maloney subsequently was hired by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, serving as first deputy secretary to the governor. He ended up playing a key role in the administration’s management of the Troopergate scandal, and then held the same position in Gov. David Paterson’s cabinet when the former LG was elevated to replace Spitzer after he was forced to resign following a prostitution scandal.

Maloney left the state payroll at the end of 2008 to join Kirkland & Ellis, the law firm that hired Michael Garcia, the U.S. Attorney who brought down Spitzer.

Prior to his 2006 run, Maloney was an associate at the law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, which is also home to former Gov. Mario Cuomo. Before that, he was a senior West Wing adviser to President Bill Clinton. According to Wikipedia, Maloney was the youngest person ever to serve as the President’s White House staff secretary, and was also the highest-ranking openly gay man ever to serve on the White House staff.