Cesar Chavez is running for Congress. Yes, really.

Cesar Chavez is running for Congress in 2014. Seriously, he is.

Okay, the Mexican American civil rights activist that most people think of when they hear that name is not making a bid. (He passed away in 1993, after all.) But a gadfly candidate who changed his name to Cesar Chavez is running in Arizona's 7th district, a liberal area with a large Hispanic population.

Formerly Scott Fistler, who the Arizona Capitol Times notes has run unsuccessful bids for Congress and the Phoenix City Council before, Chavez legally got his name changed last year. The Arizona Republic spoke to him:

The Republic found Chavez, the congressional candidate, and spoke with him extensively about the campaign and his acquisition of a remarkable name.

"It's almost as simple as saying Elvis Presley is running for president," Chavez, the candidate, said in a phone interview. "You wouldn't forget it, would you?"

The tale of the unemployed military veteran named Chavez was, until now, a puzzle. If he makes the ballot, candidates in the six-way District 7 race will have to gauge just how much of a political threat his campaign poses.

"People want a name that they can feel comfortable with," Chavez said. "If you went out there running for office and your name was Bernie Madoff, you'd probably be screwed."

Chavez, a Republican-turned-Democrat, ran into some trouble when he used copyrighted photos on his campaign Web site, the Republic noted, photos of people at a rally for then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.


So yeah, he's not going to win. Or even come close. But if he ends up qualifying for the primary ballot, there could be some very confused voters come Aug. 26.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



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