In many of the Republican primary runoff elections this year in Texas, the campaigns have turned negative, with personal attacks on the character of candidates mixing in with debate on the issues.
The District 2 Senate race between incumbent Bob Deuell and challenger Bob Hall has been one of several examples. Recently, the Deuell campaign was successful in getting area radio stations to pull an anti-Deuell ad that the senator said contained false statements as well as defamatory content unfairly characterizing his medical practice. Deuell is a physician in Greenville.
Meanwhile, Bob Hall has had to defend his character against unflattering details from 1994 Florida court documents from the aftermath of a divorce. In the court records, Hall’s former wife, Jane Hall, said that Bob Hall had physically attacked her during an incident when he refused to leave her house.
In the documents, posted online by the independent activist website Texas GOP Vote, Jane Hall said “During our twenty-three years of marriage, he was prone to furious rages. I was physically, sexually and verbally abused for most of our marriage.” The document goes on to accuse Bob Hall of frequent “wide mood swings due to years of alcohol abuse.”
KETR spoke with Hall, who defended himself against the claims in the documents.
"She decided to...(file) a false abuse complaint," Hall said. Hall cited a dispute over money as Jane Hall's motivation.
"There was no indication that there had been any violence and there was no indication that there was any threat," Hall said. "(The judge) dismissed that case immediately."
Hall accused the Deuell campaign of distributing the documents to area media in an effort to damage Hall's reputation.