Texas kicked off the 2014 midterm elections with a jam-packed primary today. Just as eye-popping as the races themselves are the campaign ads that accompany them.
As the primary winds down, here’s a look at a few of the most surprising spots from the Lone Star state:
Whether U.S. Senate candidate Dwayne Stovall can defeat incumbent Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in toda’ys primary is anyone’s guess. But in a contest for the weirdest political ad, Stovall’s “turtle soup” spot certainly takes the cake.
In an ad criticizing Cornyn for knuckling under to party leadership, Stovall compares Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to a turtle.
“You don’t stab [Texas] in the back by voting for cloture on Obamacare, you don’t enslave its children with unconstitutional laws and overwhelming debt, and you certainly don’t do all this to please some guy that looks and fights like a turtle,” Stovall says.
Up flashes a side-by-side shot of Mitch McConnell and a cartoon turtle.
“I like turtle soup,” says Stovall’s dog, as the candidate chuckles at his campaign’s own joke.
Texas lieutenant governor candidate Todd Staples faces a tough primary race against incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, State Sen. Dan Patrick and Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.
As if three primary challengers weren’t enough, Staples is casting his real opponent as President Obama. In an ad released last month, Staples took aim – literally – at the president’s tactics.
Squinting down the barrel of a shotgun, Staples vows to “fight Obama’s liberal agenda.”
“Mr. President, you’re not a king. And Texans bow to no one,” the gun-toting candidate says. “So Mr. President, if you still want to mess with Texas, we’ve got a saying for you: come and take it.”
The U.S. House’s oldest member, 90-year-old Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, is fighting to hold on to his seat in Texas’ fourth district.
Hall reassures voters that he’s actually not too old for the job.
“When you battle Nancy Pelosi as much as I have, you’re bound to get a few wrinkles,” he says. “And, by gosh, I’ve got room for a few wrinkles.”
And when it comes to Texas political ads, bizarre is just par for the course. In 2012, Texas Railroad Commissioner candidate Roland Sledge released an ad that depicted a man urinating on an electric fence.