A Republican who twice tried — and twice failed — to be elected has changed his name from “Scott Fistler” to “Cesar Chavez,” his party affiliation from GOP to Democrat, and just filed to run for Congress in a heavily Hispanic district.
Much like Dave Wilson, the white anti-LGBT activist in Houston, Texas who used stock images of African-Americans in his campaign literature to deceive low-information voters about his race, Chavez is trying to convince voters in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District that he shares a common cultural and racial heritage with them.
His official campaign website is cluttered with images of excited people cheering for “Chavez” — the majority of which come from news reports about former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
The Arizona Capitol Timescontacted Chavez for comment, but he claimed his office was too “flooded with calls and emails” for him to substantively reply.
“There is just simply not enough Cesar Chavez to go around,” he wrote. “We may resume questions starting May 10th.”
Mary Rose Wilcox, another Democrat candidate looking to represent Arizona’s 7th District, told the Capitol Times that she “thinks that’s really poor taste.”
“My husband and I grew up under the leadership of Cesar Chavez (the labor leader) and he means so much to our community,” she said. “Voters aren’t going to be fooled. If he thinks he can fool them, it’s a real affront to the community. He should be ashamed.”
Arizona Democratic Party chairman DJ Quinlan told the Capital Times that Chavez is “trying to make a mockery of the system, or of Democrats, or of the Hispanic community.”
When asked on Twitter whether the situation was a prank of some sort, Quinlan replied:
.@johnron@EvanWyloge Wish it was a joke. This seems to be part of the GOP's Hispanic outreach program. #
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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