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Candidate legally changes name to Cesar Chavez; Dem Party chairman questions his motive

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - At one time he was a Republican candidate but then he changed his party's affiliation and his name to Cesar Chavez..

At best it's confusing to voters, but some believe it's political gamesmanship taking to new levels.

The man we think of when we hear "Cesar Chavez" is the labor leader and civil rights activist.

But now one valley man has taken that name and is trying to run for outgoing congressman Ed Pastor's seat in the November election. Some Democratic Party leaders are calling it a dirty political trick.

Up until last year the Phoenix man pictured on the "Tea Party Cheer" website was known as "Scott Michael Fistler" and was a registered Republican.

But in December.. He legally changed his name to "Cesar Chavez" and changed his party affiliation to Democrat. Chavez is now running for Arizona's heavily Democratic 7th Congressional District.

"Wur understanding is that he is a very conservative person and so this is clearly an attempt to either confuse the electorate, or sneak by on a fluke," said Bill Roe with the Arizona Democratic Party.

Bill Roe said he was caught off guard by the Chavez candidacy.

"It is so brazen, an attempt to subvert the process, taking the advantage of a name like that, I would think we're going to have a backlash," said Roe.

On his campaign website Chavez features images of crowds of people holding chavez signs and wearing t shirts. But the pictures are actually from a rally for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

We went to Cesar's home today but he didn't want to answer questions.

"Do we really want this almost impostor representing a Congressional District in Arizona? Do we want them in Washington? I don't think we do," said Roe.

It is expected that there will be a challenge to the Chavez candicacy within the next week. But because this is such an unusual situation it's not known exactly what the next step will be.
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