The Texas's Lieutenant Governor's Race Is Now Absurdist Experiment in Bitterness

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Sitting Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has released the wacky campaign ad we've all been waiting for: the vicious "Let it Go" parody. Please just watch this now. We don't know: 

Dan Patrick, a conservative state senator seen singing here, is challenging Dewhurst for his seat in the Republican primary run-off. Patrick's name used to be Daniel Scott Goeb, and he is a radio talk show host, and apparently he once let some ladies paint him. Dewhurst has also alleged that Patrick changed his name to "avoid his creditors," a charge that Patrick denies (Politifact rated Dewhurst's claim "pants on fire.") The animosity dripping from this ad is a big turnaround between the public relationship between these two guys. Just two years ago, Patrick enthusiastically supported Dewhurst's unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate (the nomination, and eventually the Senate seat, went to Ted Cruz).

But it, we guess, could be in part because he was hoping that a Senator Dewhurst would leave an opening in the powerful lieutenant governorship that Patrick could take. If the first round of the Texas primaries earlier this year is any indication, Patrick could end up with that job after all: he soundly beat the incumbent in March with just over 41 percent of the vote. Dewhurst, who is only slightly less conservative than the far-right Patrick, ended up with just 28 percent of the vote. The next run-off elections are May 27th, meaning that Dewhurst has a lot of catching up to do, quickly. 

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This is hardly the first nasty thing Dewhurst has thrown Patrick's way over the last few months. Take this ad, flagged earlier by Slate, which features a photograph of Patrick semi-shirtless and looking disheveled at a party. Unfortunately for Dewhurst, that photo came from a charity event, where Patrick was literally selling the shirt off his back for disabled children. 

Patrick made a big deal out of that little detail, eventually forcing Dewhurst to apologize for using the photo. Dewhurst's "Let It Go" parody hit the web just hours after the two candidates participated in a very personal televised debate on Wednesday morning, which began with a sharp discussion of the negative campaigning tactics of both candidates. Other highlights reportedly included Dewhurst discussing what he had for dinner the night state Senator Wendy Davis filibustered the state's new restrictive abortion laws. Dewhurst, as lieutenant governor, controls the agenda of the Texas Senate. You can watch the full, 45-minute debate, here

Patrick, whose first anti-immigrant campaign ad carried the slogan "Secure the border, fight Obama," has hardly stayed away from the negative ads himself. Here's a kind of meta negative ad about Dewhurst's negative ads. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.