Scott Fistler didn’t have much luck as a Republican candidate. He lost a 2012 write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, then lost a 2013 bid for a Phoenix city council seat now held by Laura Pastor, Ed’s daughter. All that could change, though, just like Fistler’s name and party registration. After petitioning a state superior court last November and paying $319, Fistler now legally shares the name of the celebrated labor movement icon, Cesar Chavez. Earlier this year, Chavez (formerly Fistler) became a Democrat, and – before Ed Pastor announced his retirement from Congress – filed to run in the heavily Hispanic 7th Congressional District. In his petition for a name change, Fistler wrote that he had “experienced many hardships because of my name.”
Chavez did not respond to requests for a comment, other than to email the Arizona Capitol Times to say that because of how “flooded with calls and emails” his campaign has been, he is taking a break from media queries. “There is just simply not enough Cesar Chavez to go around,” he wrote. “We may resume questions starting May 10 [sic].”
Chavez did lay out some ground rules for media questions, should he be able to get to them. Questions must be screened, no more than five questions, no question longer than five words and Chavez will not discuss his name change, he explained in the email.
But the iconic labor leader isn’t even the only Chavez whose name is being used by the local Chavez campaign. The Chavez for Congress website is covered in photos showing demonstrators rallying for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.