Pelosi attends congressman’s ceremony at St. Mary’s

By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong

Sean Patrick Maloney, the Philipstown resident and Democrat who serves in the U.S. House of Representatives, wed his long-time partner Randy Florke Saturday evening (June 21) in a ceremony that packed St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, closed streets in the heart of Cold Spring, and brought out pedestrians to line the sidewalk for a glimpse of dignitaries.

Sean Patrick Maloney, left, and Randy Florke, right, leave St. Mary's in the back of their wedding car. Photo courtesy of Maloney's Congressional staff
Sean Patrick Maloney, left, and Randy Florke, right, leave St. Mary’s in the back of their wedding car. Photo courtesy of Maloney’s Congressional staff

The latter included Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader or Democratic Party chief in the House; Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the Democratic Party Whip or assistant House leader; and Rep. Joe Kennedy, another Democrat, from Massachusetts. However, Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were not present.

A neighbor or two of Maloney and Florke on Lane Gate Road, Philipstown Democratic Party activists, members of Maloney’s Congressional staff, including Philipstown Town Board Member Nancy Montgomery who recently started working for Maloney, and dozens of friends from across the country were among the 250 attendees. The Florke-Maloney children, Reiniel, Daley, and Essie, and other family members made up the wedding party. Joined by Pastor Paul Briggs of Antioch Baptist Church, Bedford Hills, New York, Father Shane Scott-Hamblen, rector of St. Mary’s, officiated at the Episcopal service.

Like other onlookers, most news reporters and photographers were kept away from the church by the security arrangements and personnel: U.S. Capitol Hill police — in town for the occasion, New York State Police, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, and Cold Spring police. About a three-block stretch of Chestnut Street, along the church property south from the traffic light, and Main Street from High Street to Chestnut Street-Morris Avenue (at the traffic light), were blocked to vehicles, forcing drivers to find another way to get in and out of the village or from one end of it to the other. Strings of cars headed south on Morris Avenue ended up turning left at the light, to proceed east on Main Street toward Nelsonville.

Security officials permitted four media organizations, including, onto the church property. A news media camera drone hovered noisily in the air outside the church’s main entrance, waiting for the wedding couple to exit.

Randy Florke, left, and Sean Patrick Maloney cross the church lawn on their first, unofficial exit from the church after the wedding. Photo by L.S. Armstrong
Randy Florke, left, and Sean Patrick Maloney cross the church lawn on their first, unofficial exit from the church after the wedding. Photo by L.S. Armstrong

As the service ended, Maloney and Florke emerged from St. Mary’s to walk across the lawn, pause by a table with lemonade for participants, and re-enter the church through the sacristy. On their brief foray outdoors, they did not make any public comments, but later that night Maloney’s office issued a statement from the pair. “Even after 22 years together, we’re overwhelmed by how blessed we feel to celebrate this special day with our friends and family,” they said. “With our three kids by our side, this couldn’t have been a more perfect day. Thank you to all our friends near and far for love and support as we continue to fight to ensure all families can experience the joys of a lifetime commitment.”

Shortly after re-entering the church Saturday evening via the sacristy, the couple left it again, through the main doorway, preceded by throngs of wedding guests and showers of rice. They quickly ducked into their decorated wedding car and left. A convertible carrying their children, decked with a sign announcing “our parents just got married,” followed. Then the numerous guests departed, too.

A reception at the couple’s home that evening included dancing, fireworks and a celebration subsequently described by one invitee as totally incredible.

Originally from New Hampshire, Maloney, 47, earned a B.A. degree in international relations from the University of Virginia in 1988 and a law degree from the same university in 1992. He worked for Clinton in the White House and for two New York governors before successfully running for the 18th New York Congressional District seat in 2012.

The car reserved for the Maloney-Florke children heralds the family's news. Photo by L.S. Armstrong
The car reserved for the Maloney-Florke children heralds the family’s news. Photo by L.S. Armstrong

An Iowa native, Florke, 51, works as a real estate and design executive in New York City, for The Rural Connection Inc., a company he founded in 1996. He graduated from The Tobe-Coburn School in New York with a degree in fashion.

Police removed the barriers on the village streets once attendees had cleared St. Mary’s grounds and the intersection. But a line of yellow tape and orange barriers remained at the edge of the church lawn on Sunday. And little mounds of rice, swept by church volunteers away from the door, greeted Mass-goers that morning.

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Armstrong was the founding news editor of The Current (then known as in 2010 and later a senior correspondent and contributing editor for the paper. She worked earlier in Washington as a White House correspondent and national affairs reporter and assistant news editor for daily international news services. Location: Cold Spring. Languages: English. Areas of expertise: Politics and government

8 replies on “Maloney Weds Long-Time Partner Florke in Cold Spring on Saturday”

  1. Just a note to others politicians who, in the future, plan to block our streets, arbitrarily trample on our rights as citizens and who come into town demanding and getting whatever they want from our police departments and elected officials. It won’t happen again without a battle royale from the Main Street business community and restaurants who lost considerable amounts of money because customers could not figure out how to get to their destination, i.e. restaurants, ice cream parlors, or other institutions that serve the public, because the streets were blocked off.

    This is not New York City or Washington D.C. where other alternate streets are available for business egress. This is Cold Spring with one Main Street that serves our entire business community. I estimated that the Depot lost $4,000 during the fiasco. This, on a sunny, bright, warm Saturday evening with all the potential to make up for all those cold, snowy, wintery evenings in the winter when we also lost money.

    Politicians think they are more important then the common workers who pay their salaries, but not in the future of Cold Spring. We’ll be watching and voting.

  2. Tom, that is an excellent comment, and I’m sure there are many of us who feel the same way but who may not be so outspoken. There was a revolution in this country about just this kind of arrogance on the part of the Ruling Class, and I don’t think Sean Patrick made any friends by his complete disregard for the inhabitants of the Village that he presumes to represent. The show of para-military force on the part of the Sheriff’s department was totally uncalled for and was in fact, frightening, given the way this county is run.

  3. Count this Main Street business owner out of your “battle royale.” We had a good day on Saturday with lots of new visitors to our shop. It was a touch slower than usual, but Haldane graduation day has that effect too.

    I take it as an honor that our Congressman chose to marry his love in our beautiful and historic St. Mary’s in the Highlands and that our kind and humorous Father Shane Scott-Hamblen officiated.

    I’m honored that those politicians who most closely represent my views, both locally and in Washington, were able to attend and experience the beauty and conviviality so present in our little corner of the Hudson Valley. I’m willing to accommodate their security needs for a few hours and hope they come back to meet the rest of us.

  4. I certainly did not lose any business on Saturday and the only so-called congestion came around 6 pm.

  5. One has to wonder, with the abundance of security, wasn’t there enough back-up to provide detour directions to Main Street? Also, who makes the decisions regarding how much security to employ? I mean, an armored tank…really?

  6. I can certainly understand the difference as to why certain business were affected and others were not. Mr. Rolston owns a restaurant and I am sure that Saturday night is his busiest day of the week. If I was in town I would have been happy to give him business. Other businesses, such as stores, are busiest during the day on the weekends. All I’m saying is I can understand Mr. Rolston’s frustration.

  7. Are you sure the roads were closed after the wedding? I am pretty certain they were not – so evening traffic to restaurants should not have been affected.

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