Race descends into misguided attacks

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, January 31, 2018

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When Pat Fallon announced his candidacy for Craig Estes’ senate seat, there seemed to be surprisingly little response from the incumbent’s team – at first.

Now that Fallon and Estes have met in a few debates, the mudslinging, combative ads and campaign photos complete with guns to show off that conservative Texas brand of masculinity have increased.

Racey Burden

Unfortunately for Estes, Fallon’s gun is bigger. Also, Estes’ strategy against Fallon is more laughable.

Estes’ campaign recently released an ad criticizing Fallon for missing votes during the special session last July. Fallon said the trip was for his wife’s birthday and had been planned long before he knew the special session would be called.

So the Estes camp wants to criticize Fallon’s attendance and commitment, which I suppose is reasonable form of attack – after all, Fallon has accused Estes of corruption for months, so he has to hit back at some point – but that’s when things got real weird.

Last week, the Messenger received an email from a campaign spokesman on the Estes team titled “Mexico Pat Releases Passport.”

Mexico Pat?

It seems like everyone has to have an edgy nickname for their political opponent now that Donald Trump has grabbed on to “Crooked Hillary” like a dog with a bone, refusing to let it go more than a year down the line. The Fallon campaign seems to have settled on the moniker “Corrupt Craig,” which I feel like they came up with while watching old MAGA ads. I give them a C for lack of originality and barely concealed plagiarism. But Mexico Pat is… not good. It’s not even insulting, especially if you have no idea what it’s about, which I wager most voters don’t.

The release bags on Fallon for missing votes concerning voter fraud and abortion and makes pointed claims about Fallon’s legislative attendance (or lack thereof), but that’s sort of buried beneath the insults about his vacation.

Apparently, not hearing how ridiculous it sounds, they’ve even made a website with the nickname – mexicopat.com. Mariachi music plays behind one of the ads. Yeah. Original.

Not to say the Fallon campaign hasn’t done its fair share of mudslinging. Their anti-Estes website, corruptcraig.com, is also sort of laughable – again, we can’t get away from the juvenile nicknames and the screaming, tabloid-style font layouts.

There’s supposed to be a third guy in this Republican primary race, but I don’t know where he is. I guess he doesn’t have a funny nickname yet.

It would be nice to focus on a more serious discussion about what these men intend to do for Texas and how it actually differs from the other’s plans. But I guess that’s the problem with primaries – you’re technically on the same side, and Estes and Fallon spout similar views on most big ticket issues.

So we’re all probably in for many more attack ads until the primary election is over. Then we’ll be on to the November election cycle, and it never ends.

But come on – mariachi music? At least make better jokes.

Racey Burden is a Messenger reporter

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