The state Attorney General's office is looking to find the person or group responsible for distributing mailers in Exeter accusing former State Rep. Matt Quandt, R-Exeter, of being drunk during House sessions.
Hundreds of the mailers were stuffed in Exeter mailboxes Monday – the day before Tuesday's election. Quandt, who served six consecutive terms, lost his re-election bid.
The mailers were anonymous, with no contact information on them. They said they were paid for by a group called "Citizens Against Drunk Legislators." That group, however, is not registered on the New Hampshire Secretary of State's 2012 political action committee list – as is required by law.
Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards said her office received complaints about the mailers targeting Quandt and other anonymous mailers in the North Country that apparently contained false information about candidates.
Anonymous mailers are nothing new during election season, Edwards said, adding that this year her office received fewer complaints about them than usual.
Edwards said many times these types of mailers are prepared and distributed by one person – something that's allowed under state law.
The mailer against Quandt stated:
"State Rep. Matt Quandt has been accused of 'frequently appearing drunk during House Sessions' and says he 'enjoys a beer during lunch.' Maybe that is why Rep. Quandt missed numerous votes important to New Hampshire families."
Quandt vehemently denied the claim he was drunk during House sessions. He said the reason he missed some votes is that his father had open heart surgery and his mother had double knee surgery.
"I was playing nurse at home," he said. "I spend a lot of time in the Legislature and sometimes I have to spend time with the family. And that's what I did."
Quandt's father, Lee, also lost his re-election bid Tuesday. All five of Exeter's state representative seats went to Democrats. One of them, Eileen Flockhart, praised the Quandts for their service and called the mailers "nasty."
"It was awful," she said. "Both those guys have worked so hard for the town. (The mailers) left an awful taste in everyone's mouth."
Matt Quandt currently serves as Exeter's Board of Selectmen chairman.