Bill Boyd was at the polls in Merrimack on the morning of April 13 when his phone rang. The caller was inquiring about a Craigslist post for a free utility trailer.
That was just the first call.
Boyd, who was a little busy that day winning election as Merrimack’s new state representative, received 34 voice mails and 54 text messages before the offer of a free trailer was removed from Craigslist later that morning.
“I didn’t have any trailers to give away,” Boyd said Tuesday.
Boyd, a Republican, said he is “treating it as an honest mistake,” but the situation is being investigated by the state attorney general’s office.
In the special election to replace late House Speaker Dick Hinch, Boyd defeated Democrat Wendy Thomas by 400 votes.
Boyd said he had publicly posted his phone number on social media a day earlier, offering free rides to the polls.
He asked the initial caller to send him a screenshot of the ad, thinking the timing of the Craigslist post was suspicious.
Within seconds of receiving the screenshot, which had his cell number highlighted, Boyd said his phone was flooded with calls and text messages about the free trailer.
The incident was reported to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office.
“We received a screenshot of the ad. However, by the time we were notified and the link to the Craigslist ad was shared with us, the post had already been removed,” said Kate Giaquinto, director of communications for the Office of the Attorney General. “The Election Law Unit will thoroughly review the report to determine what, if any, further action by this office is appropriate.”
Boyd said his cellphone number has been public for many years and is listed on the town’s website because he is a Merrimack town councilor.
He said Tuesday he will be stepping down from his council seat.
He said Thursday will be his last meeting and he will resign at the end of the month.