Nobody knows the trouble he’s seen.
A 50-year-old Keene, N.H., resident with a long criminal record who legally changed his name to Nobody will be one of three candidates on the city’s mayoral ballot Tuesday.
Born Richard Goyan Paul, the Libertarian-minded candidate’s platform includes preventing additional spending increases — and his run-ins with the law include drug charges and criminal trespass.
Nobody is competing with two other candidates, city councilors, for the two slots on the final municipal ballot in November.
He knows he’s a long shot, but Nobody said his experience running for office has led him to mull a Republican primary challenge to New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu next year.
In an interview, Nobody said the idea of changing his name first came to him from an ironic campaign sign — “vote for nobody” — in the yard outside of the Libertarian-minded flophouse where he lives.
“Frankly, I didn’t like the message of telling people not to vote, but it did get me thinking that what if someone’s name was ‘Nobody’ and appeared on the ballot just like that,” he said.
To be clear, Nobody is actually his name now. It’s on his driver’s license and he says it caused a minor technical issue when he showed up at the local Social Security office to get a new card — the computer system didn’t exactly know how to submit a one-word name.
Other than telling voters to make a statement by voting for someone with his name, Nobody does have two main campaign platforms.
First, Nobody vows to be a fiscal conservative in the city with the goal of lowering taxes. Second, he said if he is elected to the two-year term of mayor he would have an open-door policy for residents who want to discuss the actions of police.
Nobody said he believes that the police in Keene are very professional and hasn’t personally had any problems with them. And that last statement comes from a lot of experience.
Most of the 11 times he has been arrested have been for disorderly conduct or for drugs, according to records from the New Hampshire court system, which also show he has been incarcerated for at least 60 days.
He has only been technically a candidate since last August and one of his recent run-ins with the law “has really taken me off the campaign trail for month to deal with it,” said Nobody.
Looking toward Tuesday, he was realistic about his chances, but curious as to what might happen.
“I am getting a lot of good response,” said Nobody. “The last time that I went to the liquor store there is this guy in there and he says ‘you are running for mayor’ and I am like ‘yeah I am.’ I was like ‘groovy.’ ”
Keene’s elections are nonpartisan. That said, with the current Republican mayor retiring, the Republican Party is putting resources into getting the word out for Republican George Hansel, while the Democrats are hoping to pick up the open seat by helping Democrat Mitch Greenwald.
But while Nobody, a Michigan native, moved to the state as part of the Libertarian-minded “Free State” movement, state Libertarian Party chair Brian Shields said they aren’t involved in the race at all.
Hansel said he hasn’t seen much campaign activity outside of a radio interview and some press around the name change.
“It wouldn’t be Keene without a quirky story,” said Hansel.