Chavez vs. Chavez, family of labor leader sues candidate running - KMSP-TV

Chavez vs. Chavez, family of labor leader sues candidate running for CD7 office

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - It's an Arizona Congressional race that is making national headlines because of what some call dirty politics.

One of the candidates legally changed his name to "Cesar Chavez" and now the family of the labor leader is suing to keep the candidate off the ballot.

The man had changed his name from Scott Fistler to Cesar Chavez in December before he announced a run for Congress.

The family of the labor leader say it's a trick designed to confuse voters.

"The biggest thing is keeping him off the ballot," said Alejandro Chavez.

Alejandro Chavez is the grandson of the late labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.

He is suing the man formerly known as Scott Fistler, who legally changed his name to Cesar Chavez. The family claims it was only so he could run in Arizona's District 7 Congressional seat.

"One thing that my grandfather was famous for was his quote "Si, Se, Puede", and you know what I believe yes we can here. We are going to keep him off the ballot.

Alejandro says he was dumbfounded when he heard Fistler had changed his name and party affiliation to run in the heavily Hispanic and Democratic district.

"So I thought, Cesar Chavez running as a republican okay, and they said "Hold on, he's changing his party, what do you think of this," Are you serious," said Alejandro.

The suit claims that Chavez committed a class 2 misdemeanor for corruption by trying to confuse voters. It also questions the validity of the 1,455 signatures he gathered in order to get on the ballot for the August 26th primary.

"Essentially he committed a fraud against those who were signing his petitions, because he was running for office as a Democrat, but he was still registered as a Republican," said Jim Barton.

"The truth is that elections are about people's values and what they represent. This guy is trying to do it on a name," said Alejandro.

Cesar Chavez did not return our requests for comment, but he did make a posting on his website; "Our freedom of speech is in jeopardy, but we are up standing up against the corporate elite who want nothing more than to control the election. Spending millions on high profile lawyers just to challenge a candidate who is a military veteran who has a passion to effect change."

A hearing is scheduled for this case Monday in Superior Court.

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