Cesar Chavez for Congress?

Cesar Chavez for Congress?

Scott Fistler Scott Fistler
By Stephanie Condon / CBS NEWS / June 3, 2014 

Cesar Chavez is running for Congress.

Former Republican Scott Fistler changed his name to Cesar Chavez and switched to the Democratic Party - now he's running for office in Arizona's 7th congressional district.  

Seeing the name of the Latino civil rights icon on the ballot may prompt voters in Arizona's 7th district to look twice -- that's the point.

Chavez, formerly known as Scott Fistler, suggested to the Arizona Republic that he officially changed his name last November for the attention. "It's almost as simple as saying Elvis Presley is running for president," he told the newspaper. "You wouldn't forget it, would you?"

Officially, he told a judge in Maricopa County that he was requesting to change his name because "I have experienced many hardships because of my name."

Those hardships may have included losing political elections.

In 2012, Fistler lost a write-in campaign against Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., who is retiring from his seat in Arizona's 7th district this year. In 2013, Fistler lost his bid for a Phoenix city council seat -- Laura Pastor, Ed's daughter, won that race.

Fistler, now Chavez, has not only changed his name but also his party affiliation.

Formerly a Republican, Chavez became a Democrat on April 28, the Arizona Capitol Times notes. However, when he filed his congressional statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission in February, identifying himself as a Democrat.

The Arizona Democratic Party may challenge his candidacy for that reason, party officials told the Capitol Times.

"He's either trying to make a mockery of the system, or of Democrats, or of the Hispanic community," Arizona Democratic Party chairman DJ Quinlan said.

As if his candidacy weren't bizarre enough, the Capitol Times notes that Chavez's website is covered with photos from demonstrators supporting another Chavez -- Venezuela's late former president Hugo Chavez.

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