Hispanic Politicians with Non-Latino Names Doing the Name Change

Posted: Apr 22 2014

What’s in a name? A lot. 

Yes Hollywood actors have the lockdown on the cute baby names…i.e. Zappa, North, Apple and all the rest of ‘em. But for the rest of us, we do alight and work with what we've got - our names. And for some politicians, a name is making the difference between winning or losing an election. What's the next step?  A name change. 

Staying the Course
Remember Bill Richardson? Former U.S. Secretary of Energy and New Mexico governor. He was Hispanic via his mom who was originally from Mexico. Nonetheless, he faced a battle convincing many voters of his Latino ethnicity thanks to his last name.  But kudos to Bill, he kept his given name, and kept his name as is throughout his political career.

Nope, New Name
Conversely Watchdog.org is on the tail of Texas Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, whose original name prior to office was Ferdinand Frank Fischer. Interestingly, his mother was Hispanic, and before he ran for office the name he used was Tracy Fischer. Once he set his sights on a run for a Texas House seat, and running in a district that was 60% Hispanic, he appears to have scrapped Tracy Fischer and changed to his new name which includes the “Martinez” moniker. And it’s worked for him. He’s since served in the Texas house since 2000.

Let’s also not forget about Loretta Sanchez, or as she was originally known during her first political run, Loretta Brixey (her married name from her previous marriage). She didn’t win under the Brixey name, but for her next race she dropped the Brixey and went back to Sanchez (her maiden name).  Could it have been the new name?  She won in an Orange County district that is approximately 65% Hispanic.

This changing of the names is something we should get used to as politicians endeavor to court the Hispanic vote going forwards. It’s a new trend, I’m calling it now – this is just the start of our Anglo named and yet suddenly born again Hispanic politicians in the future to come.

-T. Valencia
Thalia is a writer for Hispanic.com

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