As soon as Maura Sullivan’s name was floated as a congressional candidate in New Hampshire, she was called a carpetbagger, having just moved to the state months earlier.
So it didn’t help when she launched her campaign Monday with a logo that badly distorted the shape of New Hampshire, lopping off a chunk of the state near Keene.
With social media in an uproar, the mistake was quickly fixed. In an interview Tuesday, Sullivan refused to explain what happened.
Sullivan, a Democrat, is one of a handful of candidates who jumped into the Granite State’s First Congressional District race after US Representative Carol Shea-Porter announced in early October that she would not seek reelection.
Despite having no previous connection to New Hampshire, Sullivan, 38, and her fiance moved to the state in June. With a resume that includes a tour in Iraq as a Marine, a Harvard Business School degree, and two separate posts in the Obama administration, she was encouraged to run by the same organization that persuaded Massachusetts Representative Seth Moulton to do so. In the spring, there was also buzz she might run for Congress in her home state of Illinois.
“Portsmouth is my home,” Sullivan said in the interview. “I didn’t plan to run for Congress three weeks ago, but sometimes in life you have a chance to stand up and I am standing up.”
New Hampshire has something of a recent history with outsiders moving to the state to run for office. In 2014, former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown became a New Hampshire resident to run (unsuccessfully) for the Senate. That same year, the Republican nominee for governor had to formally petition a state commission to prove he met the residency requirement. Add to that the fact that a Democrat challenged Shea-Porter for this seat in 2014, just months after he moved from New York City.
It’s worth noting that all of those candidates lost.