PHOENIX (AP) — The grandson of Cesar Chavez filed a challenge Tuesday against an Arizona congressional candidate who has been using the farm labor leader’s name.
Alejandro Chavez filed a legal complaint in Phoenix, asking that Scott Fistler be removed from the Democratic primary ballot.
Jim Barton, the attorney representing Alejandro Chavez, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Fistler’s campaign is “an effort to corrupt the election by confusing the voters.”
Fistler, a former Republican who has lost two bids for elected office, legally changed his name to Cesar Chavez last December and his party affiliation in April, the Arizona Capitol Times reported.
Fistler, now Chavez, is running for a seat in the heavily Democratic 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of Phoenix and Glendale.
In court documents, Alejandro Chavez alleges he misled voters by gathering signatures to get on the Aug. 26 ballot before officially registering as a Democrat. Furthermore, candidate Chavez is accused of collecting signatures from people who are not qualified to vote in that district, according to the challenge.
A message left with the candidate seeking comment Wednesday was not immediately returned.
Barton said his client, who resides in Phoenix, isn’t happy in general that Fistler was able to legally take his grandfather’s name.
“I think that’s sort of the emotional side of all this. It’s just so cynical to do something like this,” Barton said.
As a Republican, the candidate formerly known as Fistler ran a write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor in 2012. Last year, he ran against Pastor’s daughter, Laura, for a seat on the Phoenix City Council.
According to the Capitol Times, Fistler initiated a petition in state Superior Court last November and paid $319. Fistler wrote in the petition of experiencing “many hardships because of my name.”