Missing Candidate Baffles Police

A massive search is under way for New Hampshire congressional candidate Gary Dodds, who disappeared without a trace following a single-car accident last night, New Hampshire state police officials told ABC News.

Dodds' wife, Cynthia, remained today at the scene of the accident, along the southbound side of New Hampshire's Spaulding turnpike, where state and local police and area fire departments have been searching with dogs, helicopters and marine patrol divers, senior campaign staffer Bonnie Winona said.

New Hampshire state police have issued a missing persons bulletin, a spokesman said.

The accident occurred near the Great Bay, an inland tidal estuary, Winona said.

Dodds, one of the Democratic challengers to U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley, left a Democratic committee meeting in Somersworth, N.H., and was traveling to Portsmouth to meet with a campaign fiscal agent, with whom Dodds was to finish some federal election commission filings, Winona said.

"He never showed up for the [8:30 p.m.] meeting.

"Someone witnessed his car leaving Spaulding turnpike'' and called Dover police, who showed up soon afterward but have still been unable to locate the congressional candidate, she said. "The weather conditions were not the best. It was a little slippery.''

Winona ruled out the possibility that alcohol or drugs were involved in Dodds' disappearance.

"He is a totally clean-living guy,'' she said. "He doesn't drink or smoke or anything.''

The candidate has pledged to walk the "entire [congressional] district to hear the concerns of the people that Jeb Bradley has forgotten about,'' according to Dodds' Web site.

Dodds is the chief financial officer of Accent Magazine and the vice chairman of the Rye, N.H., school board, according to his Web site. He and his wife have two daughters.

Dodds is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall, and weighing 180 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone who witnessed the accident or has information about Dodds is asked to call New Hampshire state police at 603-679-3333.

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