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'Frozen' Fuels Latest Dewhurst Vs. Patrick Battle: 'Let It Go' Vs. Animated Elsa GIFs

Dan Patrick campaign
"Frozen" is featured prominently by both the David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick campaigns.

Just when you thought you've seen it all in the Republican lieutenant governor runoff.

The ongoing battle between David Dewhurst and Dan Patrick took a creative twist Wednesday -- and it's all inspired by Frozen, the hit Disney movie that features the hot song "Let It Go" and the Norwegian princess with icy powers.

First, the Dewhurst campaign posted a YouTube video that features Patrick lip-synching to a version of “Let It Go." Then Patrick unveiled a post on its DewFeed page, a site that resembles BuzzFeed, complete with animated Frozen GIFs.

No, we're not making this up.

The video

The video, “The Ballad of Dannie Goeb,” focuses on Patrick's name change and bankruptcy. (Patrick filed for personal bankruptcy in the 1980s, walking away from $800,000 in debt.) It features a shirtless Patrick covered in paint – film from decades ago.

Dewhurst, the lieutenant governor, faces Patrick, the state senator from Houston. Patrick leads in the polls.

Patrick was born Dannie Goeb, but began using Dan Patrick in the late 1970s as a sportscaster. He then legally changed his name in 2003. Patrick explains this on his website.

Earlier TV attack ads from Dewhurst claim that Patrick didn’t pay taxes, pocketed employees’ federal income tax withholdings and hid assets during a bankruptcy.  

Politifact Texas has fact-checked an earlier claim from the Dewhurst campaign that Dan Patrick "’changed his name from Danny Goeb to hide from’ his ‘debts.’" Politifact Texas awarded the ad with its "pants on fire" label, declaring: "David Dewhurst lofts ridiculous unsupported claim about Dan Patrick legally changing his name to hide debts."

The Frozen animated GIFs

Patrick's campaign responded with this post on its DewFeed page, complete with animated GIFs:

Credit / Dan Patrick campaign
Dan Patrick campaign
Dan Patrick's campaign responded with a BuzzFeed-style posting on its DewFeed website.

Here's another excerpt:

Credit / Dan Patrick campaign
Dan Patrick campaign
Here's an excerpt from the "Frozen"-themed attack ad, animated GIF style.

What's going on?

Dewhurst sat down with KERA's Shelley Kofler earlier this week to talk about his campaign.

“All we’re doing is we’re quoting things he’s said, things he’s done, from newspapers, from TV shows,” Dewhurst told KERAin defense of the hard-hitting ads, which Patrick claims are filled with lies.

Patrick reminds us that Dewhurst also went through a bankruptcy in the 1980s. Patrick has said he learned from his mistakes and now has a successful broadcasting business. He’s blamed his old financial troubles on a tough economy and suggested it’s not relevant to pick on him for things that happened 30 years ago.

Patrick and Dewhurst faced off in a contentious debate in Dallas on Wednesday morning. Watch that here.

Or catch up on their debate from last Friday in Houston.

The runoff is May 27.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.