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White Republican Changes Name to “Cesar Chavez” For Congressional Bid

White Republican Changes Name to “Cesar Chavez” For Congressional Bid

What’s a Caucasian Republican to do after two unsuccessful bids for political office in a largely Latino voting district? If your answer is something crazy like “legally change your name to Cesar Chavez,” then you’re probably Scott Fistler… or as he’s now known, Cesar Chavez.

While still using the name Fistler, “Chavez” lost an election for U.S. Congress in 2012 and then another race for City Council in Phoenix the following year. Determined to turn his luck around, Fistler filed for a name change and wrote on the document that he had previously “experienced many hardships because of [his] name.” Presumably, Chavez bets that voters will associate his new name with the original Cesar Chavez, a renowned labor organizer and activist. He is currently seeking a Congressional seat in Arizona’s 7th District.

The trickery doesn’t stop there. Slate noted that Chavez’s own candidacy website includes photos of enthusiastic supporters of Hugo Chavez, the former President of Venezuela.

Since being called out for his attempted ruse, Chavez has gone relatively silent as far as the media is concerned. He claimed he was overwhelmed with questions and said, “There is just simply not enough Cesar Chavez to go around.” Clearly MORE people need to change their names to Cesar Chavez so there is enough to go around. Chavez did make one thing clear, though: he would not be fielding any questions about his name change. Presumably, inquiries about his integrity would also need to be screened.

Sadly, this sort of underhandedness is not unprecedented in American politics. Last November, Dave Wilson, a white conservative won an election by pretending to be African American. Wilson’s campaign flyers and ads all heavily implied that he was black in an effort to appeal to a district comprised largely of African Americans. Wilson has no apologies for his potentially unethical approach. “Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters,” Wilson argued.

Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see whether Chavez’s name change is enough to fool voters, particularly while opposing “fellow” Democrat Mary Rose Wilcox, an actual Latina with a more traditionally Anglo-sounding name. “My husband and I grew up under the leadership of [the real] Cesar Chavez and he means so much to our community,” Wilcox said. “Voters aren’t going to be fooled. If he thinks he can fool them, it’s a real affront to the community. He should be ashamed.”

There is still a chance that Chavez won’t make it on the ballot. Since Chavez was still a registered Republican when he began collecting signatures to run as a Democrat, that could violate election regulations. “He’s either trying to make a mockery of the system, or of Democrats, or of this Hispanic community,” said DJ Quinlan, head of the Arizona Democratic Party. If there’s a way to prevent Chavez from appearing on the ballot, Democratic Party leaders will likely exercise that option.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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135 comments

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6:33PM PDT on Jun 11, 2014

scumbag!!

10:49AM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

If anyone else can think of other things the G.O.P. is for, please feel free to add.

10:49AM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

That's mostly true Christine. It is very difficult to find anything that the Republican Party is FOR. I know that overall (no group agrees 100%, I"m talking about in general), they are for more guns. They are for more tax cuts, especially for the wealthy. They are for the Keystone Pipeline ( I'm anti pipeline, don't get me started on that rant lol), and really that's about it.

10:18PM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

Another scumbag from the Republican party, with no Republican reprimand.

8:36PM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

Sadly, the Republican party is strictly about no abortions, no to gay marriage, and big business before environment. And there are plenty of people who vote strictly by these principles...

8:23PM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

I'm still amazed that anyone votes republican no matter what their name is . after watching how they have changed and turned this once great country into a third rate theocracy . I just don't understand . and it seems everything they do or want to do is anywhere from two too ten steps backward. from women's rights to voting rights to letting the poor and middle class just survive .

11:20AM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

Thanks you

11:01AM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

Sure Donn. But why are you more focused on the voters than the guy who is basically trying to get into office based on lies? Is that not bigoted? At the very least, it would appear to be deceitful. It shows that he doesn't think he can win on merit if nothing else.

8:36AM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

Man, some people really, really, really want this job. If he is actually elected based on this ruse, I'd say his constituents aren't paying attention.

7:41AM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

Alexandra is right.

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