An aspiring Arizona lawmaker who twice failed to effectively convince the public he would be the best candidate to represent them has left the Republican party to try his luck as a Democrat with a shiny new name: Cesar Chavez.
Scott Fistler lost a 2012 write-in bid for Congress against Representative Ed Pastor only to have his hopes dashed again last year, losing an election for Phoenix City Council to Pastor’s daughter, Laura.
Now, in an apparent attempt to convince voters he is worthy of their support, Fistler has switched his party affiliation and paid the $319 fee to legally change his name to Cesar Chavez.
Chavez, who passed away in 1993, was a Mexican-American who dedicated his life to winning more rights for farm workers. Chavez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association and became an icon both inside and outside the Latino community.
Fistler, aiming to cash in on that legacy, has filed an application to run for office in the heavily Hispanic 7th Congressional District, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.
Chavez (formerly Fistler) told the newspaper he was “flooded with calls and emails” and thus unable to dedicate time to speaking with the press. He stipulated that, if he did eventually find the time, he would not discuss the reason for his name change. Chavez only said that he “experienced many hardships” under his former name.
“There is just simply not enough Cesar Chavez to go around,” he said. “We may resume questions starting May 10 [sic].”
Despite criticism from opponents, Chavez’s campaign website seems to indicate that his decision to change names has already won him support, with images of enthusiastic supporters marching in a large parade and carrying signs with slogans such as “Viva Chavez!” Upon closer inspection, though, the Capitol Times quickly determined that the photos were taken in Venezuela, where a huge number of voters turned out to vote for Hugo Chavez – not Scott Fistler.
Democratic candidate Mary Rose Wilcox told the newspaper that Fristler’s ploy was in “really poor taste.”
“My husband and I grew up under the leadership of Cesar Chavez and he means so much to our community,” she 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.”