Maggie Goodlander, wife of Biden official, launches congressional campaign

Maggie Tamposi Goodlander, a former White House aide and the wife of national security adviser Jake Sullivan, launched her campaign Thursday to represent New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District after six-term Rep. Annie Kuster announced she would not seek reelection.

“I know how to get things done and deliver for New Hampshire,” Goodlander said in a statement. “I’ll be a workhorse for the people of the Second District and I’ll never stop fighting for a freer and more just Granite State.” 

Before her stint in the White House, she was a deputy assistant attorney general, clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and served as a senior adviser for Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman.

Goodlander also served as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee during the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump.

“I believe deep in my bones that no politician is above the law,” she said in a campaign launch video. 

She married Sullivan in 2015 while he was working as an adviser to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A few years later, they bought a house in Portsmouth, which is part of the state’s 1st Congressional District. Goodlander recently signed a lease in her hometown of Nashua, which is in the 2nd Congressional District.

Goodlander and Sullivan have struggled to have children, a point she made in her campaign video. She told the painful story of a miscarriage she suffered at 20 weeks, highlighting an issue that is top of mind for voters — and Democrats — since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

“When I was almost 20 weeks pregnant, we found out that we had lost our little boy,” she said in the video. “I went into labor, and I delivered our baby myself. This is where the effects of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs became very, very real for me.”

“It is wrong that women in this state and across this country are denied the basic health care services that they need and that they deserve, and I want to fight for those freedoms every day for as long as I can,” Goodlander continued.

The current law in New Hampshire allows abortion until 24 weeks, with some exceptions.

Goodlander’s campaign video:

Stand Up | Maggie Goodlander for Congress by Maggie Goodlander for Congress on YouTube

Goodlander is the third Democratic candidate to enter the race. Former New Hampshire Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern and state Senator Becky Whitley are also running in the state’s congressional Democratic primary on Sept. 10.

Eight Republicans are vying for the GOP nomination in a district that leans Democratic but is expected to be competitive.

Sullivan didn’t respond to requests for comment, but a senior White House official tells CBS News, “This campaign is Maggie’s, not Jake’s.  He’s very proud of his wife for taking this on, but it is absolutely her campaign—not his.”

“Jake will comply with the Hatch Act and with all other applicable law and policy,” the senior official added. “Jake has already been engaged with White House ethics officials to make sure that he is fully compliant with all obligations and responsibilities. That will continue as needed.”

The Hatch Act is a law that restricts federal employees from using their office for certain political activities.

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