Thursday, June 12, 2014

What's in a Name? Arizona Congressional Candidate's Appeal to Latino Voters -- Changes Name to Cesar Chavez


It seems that there is always something interesting going on in Arizona.  Here is the latest "believe it or not" story from the Grand Canyon State.  

Reuters reports on a stunning political development in Arizona, which as laws like SB 1070 reveal, is adjusting to demographic changes as the state becomes increasingly Latino.   The grandson of civil rights icon Cesar Chavez has filed a legal challenge to remove from the ballot in Arizona an Anglo who changed his name to Cesar Chavez in an apparent effort to attract Latino votes. The challenge filed by Alejandro Chavez alleges that the man who changed his name to Cesar Chavez from Scott Fistler -- a two time loser in runs for Congress -- should be removed from the primary election ballot for misleading voters in his bid to win a seat in a largely Latino congressional district.  Court records show that Fistler legally became Cesar Chavez last year.

While Fistler/Chavez seems to want to capitalize on a Spanish surname, things in California -- at least in statewide elections -- are different.  A study of statewide elections in California show that an Anglo surname may help at the polls.  Earlier this month, David Evans, an accountant who had little money to run a campaign, came close to matching the vote total of Democrats John A. Pérez, the former Assembly speaker, and Betty Yee, a Board of Equalization member, for the right to advance to the general election for State Controller. 

 Here is Stephen Colbert's take on the name change of the man formerly known as Fistler.


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