Weiner is a U.S. Congressman representing south Brooklyn and parts of Queens, as well as an erstwhile—and potential future—mayoral candidate.
The son of a Park Slope public-school teacher (mom) and lawyer (dad), Weiner attended Brooklyn Tech and SUNY Plattsburgh before joining Chuck Schumer's congressional staff in 1985—he was initially tasked with opening the senator's mail. Weiner didn't stay long: At age 27, he staged a bid for City Council and became the youngest person ever elected to the body. (He's since lost that distinction to Joel Rivera). When he learned that his one-time mentor was preparing to run for the Senate against Al D'Amato in 1998, Weiner jumped into the ring and won the race for Schumer's vacated seat. His attempt to secure higher office in 2005 wasn't as successful: He placed second to Fernando Ferrer in the Democratic primary for mayor. And although he briefly considered making another run in 2009, he decided against it after term limit laws were changed and a path was cleared for Mayor Bloomberg to run for a third term.
Weiner's district, which consists of parts of Queens (Kew Gardens, the Rockaways) and Brooklyn (Sheepshead Bay, Midwood) is solidly Democratic by registration, but it tends to be relatively conservative territory. Weiner, however, happens to have one of the most liberal voting records in the House: He's voted in favor of stem cell research and gun control and against the Patriot Act and bans on gay adoption; and although he voted in favor of the Iraq War in 2002, he later said he regrets doing so. (Naturally, he pursues less weighty political issues from time to time, too: Along with Carolyn Maloney, he spent several years fighting for more federal funding to combat invasive pests such as the Asian long-horned beetle.) In 2007 and 2008, Weiner appeared to have a very good shot at winning the Democratic nomination for mayor. But when Mayor Bloomberg managed to extend term limts, thereby assuring himself a third term in office, Weiner decided against waging an unwinnable campaign and decided not to throw his hat in the ring in 2009. He remains, however, a likely candidate for 2013.
Quick with wisecracks and self-deprecating jokes (favorite topics: his physical appearance, his failure to get into Stuyvesant, his dating life, and his last name), Weiner has never married. But that will change soon. He's now engaged to Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton and one of Vogue's "best dressed" in 2007. In the past, he's been linked to ABC correspondent Gigi Stone and a writer/TV host named Alli Joseph. Weiner spends weekends in Forest Hills and weekdays in Washington.
Weiner briefly shared an apartment with Daily Show host Jon Stewart after college. Weiner's connection to the talk show host earned him a $1,000 donation in 1997, the only campaign contribution Stewart has made in the last decade.