This congressional candidate called herself a ‘renter.’ But she actually owns a $1.2m home

The last time Ms Goodlander voted in the district she hopes to represent was in 2008

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 23 May 2024 19:16 BST
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Maggie Goodlander, a former Biden White House official who is running for New Hampshire’s 2nd District Congressional seat, has described herself as a renter despite owning a $1.2m home
Maggie Goodlander, a former Biden White House official who is running for New Hampshire’s 2nd District Congressional seat, has described herself as a renter despite owning a $1.2m home (Maggie Goodlander for Congress)

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A former senior adviser in Joe Biden's White House is running for a congressional seat in New Hampshire and has presented herself as a voice for renters in a government filled with homeowners.

“I am a renter, and there should be more renters in Congress,” Maggie Goodlander, whose husband Jake Sullivan serves as the White House national security adviser to President Biden, told The Boston Globe when she tossed her hat in the ring.

She's right — approximately half of congressional leaders are millionaires, and members of Congress are far more likely to be homeowners than the general American.

What’s up for debate is whether she can really count herself among the renters.

According to an analysis by The Daily Beast, Ms Goodlander and Mr Sullivan own a home worth more than $1.2m in a posh, historic seaside neighborhood in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Ms Goodlander is running for New Hampshire's 2nd District. Portsmouth is in the state's 1st District, but federal law only requires congressional candidates to reside in the state, not the district, they hope to represent.

Maggie Goodlander, a former Biden White House official who is running for New Hampshire’s 2nd District Congressional seat, has described herself as a renter despite owning a $1.2m home
Maggie Goodlander, a former Biden White House official who is running for New Hampshire’s 2nd District Congressional seat, has described herself as a renter despite owning a $1.2m home (Maggie Goodlander for Congress)

Ms Goodlander, is, however, renting a home in Nashua, according to the Concord Monitor.

She also told voters and the press that her family has been part of the Nashua community for “over 100 years,” but her parents sold their property in that district in 2008.

The last time Ms Goodlander voted in the district was during the 2008 primary and presidential elections. She voted absentee in both.

The Independent has reached out to Ms Goodlander for comment.

A donor and Democratic adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Daily Beast the situation made them uneasy.

“She didn’t live in that district, and if that isn’t the definition of carpetbagger—that’s kind of harsh, but it doesn’t sit right with me,” the donor said.

Billy Shaheen, husband of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and a power broker in the state's political world, said elected officials at the congressional level were often “transient” and did not agree that the carpetbagger label should be applied to Ms Goodlander.

“I don’t think anyone will hold it against her, because we all travel around,” he told The Daily Beast.

Ms Goodlander is hoping to pick up the seat left open by the departure of Congresswoman Annie Kuster.

Ms Kuster has endorsed Ms Goodlander's Democratic opponent, Colin Van Ostern. The two will face off in the state’s primary on 10 September.

Ms Goodlander recently said in an interview that, if she were elected, one of her top priorities early on is to address the high cost of living in her district. She said “a lot of our laws” that were designed to protect consumers and workers have not been updated in years, and needed to be in order to reflect the conditions of the modern US economy, WMUR reports.

When asked if her beliefs deviated at all from the Biden White House, she admitted that she believed the president could be tougher on China.

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