toppolitics

After Losing 2 Elections, Former AZ Tea Party Candidate Changes Name to Cesar Chavez, Becomes Democrat

| by Jared Keever

Twice a loser as a Republican tea party candidate, an Arizona man, Scott Fistler, has changed his name to Cesar Chavez and switched to the Democratic Party. 

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, Fistler lost a 2012 write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, R-Arizona. He then lost a 2013 race for a seat on the city council in Phoenix to Pastor’s daughter, Laura Pastor.

It seems those loses prompted him to change his name to that of the famed labor movement activist. As Chavez, he has petitioned to run as a Democrat in a six-candidate primary for a chance to represent Arizona’s heavily Hispanic District 7.

"It's almost as simple as saying Elvis Presley is running for president," Chavez told The Arizona Republic. "You wouldn't forget it, would you?”

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"People want a name that they can feel comfortable with," he said. "If you went out there running for office and your name was Bernie Madoff, you'd probably be screwed.”

The strange maneuvers by the candidate have left many in awe of his audacity

“It’s obviously very strange, and it’s also super cynical,” Ronnie Cho told The Daily Beast.

Cho is a former White House aide who remains active in Arizona politics.

“He thinks that he can just call himself a Hispanic name and people will vote for him,” he said.

Court records indicate that Chavez was able to change his name for just $319. In the petition he filed requesting the name change he told the court that he had “experienced many hardships” because of his birth name. 

As news of the strange name change spreads, Chavez has grown increasingly difficult to reach. In an email he wrote that he had been “flooded with calls and emails” and was taking a break from media inquiries.

“There is just simply not enough Cesar Chavez to go around,” he wrote.

The email also set new rules for questions when he does begin answering them again. He will not answer more than five questions. He also said no question can be more than five words long and he will not answer questions about his name change. 

Chavez will know June 11 if he qualifies for the Democratic primary.

Sources: Arizona Capitol Times, The Arizona Republic, The Daily Beast