While President Obama isn't facing much in the way of in-party competition for the Presidency in 2012, on the Republican side candidates are lining up to spar for the nomination. The grand poobah of flashy real estate, Donald Trump, has already backed out and over-exposed Sarah Palin has yet to make a decision, but we've got the houses of five candidates who seem willing to go the distance. One of the early frontrunners is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, whose 2008 bid ended in a primary defeat to John McCain. Following that let down, he's revamped his strategy and moved to La Jolla, Calif. The former CEO of private equity house Bain Capital, Romney didn't skimp on his new digs. In fact, he forked over $12M for one of the choice beachfront houses in town, a 3,000-square-foot spread on almost half an acre.
? Third-time candidate Ron Paul might realize that voters don't take too kindly to extravagant living on the part of their candidates. In another "everyman" move, Paul has taken to Facebook to sell his four-bedroom house in Lake Jackson, Texas. On the market for $325K, the 5,500-square-foot ranch house was Ron and Carol Paul's home for 42 years. Looks like he'll sacrifice anything to finance this presidential bid. Third time better be the charm.
? Another Beltway vet, Newt Gingrich, resides in a locale appropriate for a Republican insider, McLean, Va., just across the Potomac from DC. The former Speaker of the House as a Representative from Georgia, Gingrich has resided in McLean full-time since 1999, but he's been running under the public political radar in this anonymous suburban house.
? Newcomer Michele Bachmann, currently a Minnesota Congresswoman, might always be talking about her "family farm," but her real homestead is this 5,200-square-foot manse alongside the Stoneridge Golf Club in Stillwater, Minn. The tax-hating conservative missed a tax deadline last year, but apparently that was just a mental lapse, not some political statement.
? Another Minnesotan is also aiming for the country's top political position, former Governor Tim Pawlenty, but, like Ron Paul, he's living in a more modest house than his in-state rival. Pawlenty shares the grey house (above, center) in Eagan, Minn. with his wife Mary and their two children. Like Gingrich's Virginia pad, this place is a little anonymous, but that's probably just what Pawlenty is looking for.
· Mitt Romney Comes to La Jolla [Luxury Property]
· Ron Paul Gets Webby and Tries to Sell House Over Facebook [Curbed National]
· Newt Gingrich's House [Virtual Globetrotting]
· Michele Bachmann Forgot To Pay Her Property Taxes On Time [Huffington Post]