An icon in many leftist circles, Cesar Chavez made a name for himself as the co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association. More than two decades after his death, an Arizona congressional hopeful is trying to garner support by using his name.
The 34-year-old former Republican has mounted two unsuccessful campaigns using his birth name, Scott Fistler. He is now seeking retiring Democrat U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor’s soon-to-be-vacated seat. This time, however, he is using the name Cesar Chavez, which he officially adopted last year.
The outgoing Democrat became Arizona’s first Latino congressman almost 40 years ago; and according to Chavez, the new name will hopefully help him secure the seat representing the heavily Hispanic seventh district.
“My name is on a lot of popular things,” he said.
Mary Rose Wilcox is also running against him for the position. The Latina candidate is incensed that someone is using the name of the far-left hero to attract voters.
“My husband and I grew up under the leadership of Cesar Chavez,” she said; “and he means so much to our community. Voters aren’t going to be fooled. If he thinks he can fool them, it’s a real affront to the community.”
She said he “should be ashamed” of such a disingenuous campaign.
The newly christened Chavez, however, contends he merely wants to evoke memories of a familiar individual.
“People want a name that they can be comfortable with,” he explained. “If you went out there running for office and your name was Bernie Madoff, you’d probably be screwed.”
Arizona Democrat Party Chair Bill Roe, however, thinks there is something deeper lurking within Chavez’s fledgling candidacy.
“Our understanding is that he is a very conservative person,” he said; “and so this is clearly an attempt to either confuse the electorate or sneak by on a fluke.”
Roe contended that Chavez is attempting to “subvert the process, taking the advantage of a name like that,” predicting “a backlash” among the state’s electorate.
“Do we really want this almost impostor representing a Congressional District in Arizona?” he asked. “Do we want them in Washington? I don’t think we do.”
Visit Chavez’s website, complete with images depicting supporters of Venezuela’s deceased president Hugo Chavez, to learn more about his campaign.
Photo Credit: Tom Arthur (Creative Commons)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom