Is This Texas Republican’s Campaign Ad the Most Charming of the 2016 Election?

A pitch that won't make you stab your ballot and cry

Headshot of Angela Natividad

The presidential run has been characterized by negativity, partisan extremism and a "lesser-of-the-two-evils" attitude. As the race to the ballot boxes heats up, things are only getting more insufferable.

So it comes as a refreshing surprise that, out of Texas, one Republican candidate is shooting for re-election as county commissioner with an ad that's neither negative nor offensive (to anyone!). In "Please Re-Elect Gerald," Gerald Daugherty's long-suffering wife, Charlyn Daugherty, appears to beg voters to keep her husband in office—with a delightful amount of side-eye. 

Why? Because Gerald has no hobbies. And he's driving everybody bananas with his unsolicited chatter about work.

Daugherty is a moderate Republican running for re-election in Travis County, which includes the city of Austin. He is the only conservative on the county commission, and his biggest issue has been getting State Highway 45 Southwest built, which would connect Hays County's FM 1626 to MoPac in southwest Austin, per KUT.

How do you make that interesting? By making it relatable.

Gerald's a husband and a friend … and an annoying one, at that. He chats about the prison system while distractedly scrubbing a dish, lobotomizes a buddy over taxes while neglecting his barbecue, and uses steak as a transport metaphor. The ad positions him as an indefatigable nerd who, more than anything else, needs an outlet for his policy wonking. 

"We got three light-rail cars," he says into the pregnant silence of his dinner guests. "You can put 60 people on each car. So even if you add two cars, you're talking about maybe 300 people who are affected. There are a million people in this community. I mean, that is .01 to the eighth power. If you round it off, it's zero."

"All he wants to do is fix things," Charlyn says tightly.

The Daily Dot compares the charming little domestic ad to "Dangerous," an ad Trump released, which depicts Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton as both weak and corrupt in a world about to explode in our faces: 

Tiresome, right? Scroll back up and watch Charlyn and Gerald again. You deserve it. And if you happen to be in Precinct 3 this Nov. 8, here's where you can learn more about voting for Gerald. (Or you can vote for his Democratic opponent, David Holmes.)

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@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.