Orange County News

Judge OKs Anaheim City Council candidate's use of Latino name

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A judge Tuesday decided a candidate for the Anaheim City Council can use his full name, which includes "Chavez," finding he did not change his name right before the election to allegedly woo Latino voters.

Steve Chavez Lodge was taken to court by Anaheim resident and political blogger Cynthia Ward, who questioned the use of his Latino name on the November ballot.

"All I really wanted was the truth, what is the man's real name?" Ward said.

Ward's attorneys argued Lodge only recently started using "Chavez" when he announced he was running for City Council. Some questioned whether it was for political gain. More than half of Anaheim's population is Latino.

"My client has never stopped using the name Chavez," said Chavez Lodge's attorney, Steve Baric. "For goodness sake, it's his birth name. It's the name on his birth certificate."

"I was very happy I get to keep my own name," Chavez Lodge said. "My heritage is very important to me."

Ward said she's satisfied with the judge's ruling. She said she's concerned about her city after recent civil unrest following two fatal police shootings in July. Ward insists her lawsuit was not politically motivated and claims she does not yet have a candidate chosen for Anaheim City Council.

"I'm motivated because I'm an Anaheim voter, motivated because our city is in turmoil right now and who ends up on that council is critical," Ward said. "We have to pay attention to the character of the people we are electing."

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