KEENE — Nobody wants to become the next mayor of Keene.

“I’m running because Nobody knows how to run your life better than you do, Nobody deserves that kind of power, and Nobody tells the truth anymore, and I want to be that guy,” said the candidate named Nobody.

Rich Paul, aka 'Nobody'

Free State activist Nobody, who legally changed his name from Rich Paul earlier this summer, is in the running to become Keene’s next mayor.

The 50-year-old self-described libertarian activist who legally changed his name from Rich Paul to Nobody two months ago filed to run for mayor this week. Nobody, who says he founded the Keene 420 rally in which he and others smoke marijuana in Central Square, is running on a very small government platform.

“I would reduce the size and scope of government by as much as I possibly can,” he said.

When asked for specifics, Nobody said he would end the war on drugs and laws against prostitution.

Nobody, who moved to New Hampshire 10 years ago as part of the Free State movement, is no stranger to controversy. He was convicted in 2013 of selling marijuana and he was incarcerated.

“They threw me in jail for a while and they let me out,” he said.

During his trial, Nobody, then Paul, claimed an FBI conspiracy targeting the Free State activists in New Hampshire. According to court records, he sold marijuana and a substance that was purportedly LSD to an informant who worked with the FBI.

He was convicted by a jury on three counts of selling marijuana, one count of possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and one count of selling a drug purported to be LSD to an informant, according to records.

The Free State Project is an effort to encourage libertarians to move to New Hampshire in order to change the government. Nobody moved to New Hampshire from Ann Arbor, Mich., as part of the project. He said New Hampshire now has a thriving libertarian community.

“I think it’s been a success. Obviously there’ve been some numerical targets missed along the way,” he said. “There are places and areas of the state that are getting freer.”

The race for mayor already has city councilors George Hansel and Mitchell Greenwald squaring off.

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Monday, November 11, 2019