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Ruh Roh. This Texas election went to the dogs

When a campaign commercial began to impact dogs, state Rep. Charlie Geren changed it. This photo features Lorenzo, a bullmastif.
When a campaign commercial began to impact dogs, state Rep. Charlie Geren changed it. This photo features Lorenzo, a bullmastif. The New York Times

No more doorbells.

That's state Rep. Charlie Geren's new motto when it comes to campaign commercials.

He recently had a commercial that featured a doorbell ringing over and over — until he got complaints from constituents that the sound was impacting their pets.

"We started getting calls and emails from people who said their dogs were going crazy and were running to the door," said Geren, R-Fort Worth, who faces challenger Bo French in the March 6 Republican primary.

"I’m not voting for you because your TV commercial has your competitor ringing a doorbell 5 times (why) and our 4 dogs reach DEFCON level 1," Alex Grosvenor wrote in a tweet to Geren. "Not sure why you thought this was a good idea."

Geren told the Star-Telegram that he changed the ringing of a doorbell in the commercial, which was about why people shouldn't let French into their home, to the sound of a buzzer.

"We’re getting that resolved right away," Geren tweeted Grosvenor. "My apologies. I sincerely ask that you base your vote on our records and not merely on an honest, inadvertent advertising mistake."

Grosvenor seemed to appreciate the move.

"I see you changed the doorbell sound," he tweeted back. "You’ve got my vote!"

This marked one of the lighter moments in the fight for House District 99, which has become a costly, marquee battle, pitting two men whose families have been longtime friends.

Geren has represented this district since 2001 and is seeking another term in office. French, who unsuccessfully ran against Geren two years ago, is back on the ballot.

So far, the fiery fight for this district involves more than $1 million, a lawsuit and peace officer concerns about a fake Facebook page created two years ago.

When asked about the commercial, French replied: "The only thing more offensive than Geren's dishonest TV ad is his voting record. No amount of editing will fix that ad."

Geren said he's received several notes from constituents who are glad he removed the doorbell sound from his commercial.

"I'm never going to use a doorbell (in a commercial) again," he said.

Key election dates:

March 6 — Primary election. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

April 23-May 1 — Early voting for the local May 5 election

May 5 — Local election

May 14-18 — Early voting for primary runoff

May 22— Primary runoff election

June 14-16— Republican Party of Texas state convention in San Antonio

June 21-23 — Texas Democratic Party state convention in Fort Worth

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley

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