Voice of OC reported last night that Anaheim activist Cynthia Ward has filed a lawsuit asking the court to rule on the name and ballot designation of Anaheim City Council Candidate Steve Chavez Lodge. The suit alleges that Lodge can’t place the middle name of “Chavez” on the ballot because it’s not his real name.
In addition the suit asserts that Lodge can’t be listed on the ballot with the designation retired police officer because he is currently employed and retired is not his police officer is not his primary occupation. Under election code, a candidate can only list their primary occupation.
The Voice of OC article states:
Lodge said that he was born Steven Albert Chavez. After his mother remarried and assumed her husband’s surname, Lodge, she changed her son’s surname to Lodge also.
“It [Lodge] became legal when I joined the military. But I’ve always used Chavez,” Lodge said.
In a press statement released last night, Council candidate John Leos said:
“While I can respect Lodge’s apparent sensitivity to voter concerns about the lack of a Latino voice on the Council, it just seems opportunistic to put on a Latino identity for himself now that votes are at stake,” said City Council Candidate John Leos. “My family over the last 90 years experienced segregated Anaheim schools and other injustices, but I learned from them always to be myself — in season and out of season.”
Leos, a resident of central Anaheim, has been endorsed by Mayor Tom Tait. (Correction: Former Councilwoman Kring has NOT endorsed Leos as previously reported) There are two open seats on the Anaheim City Council due to term limits which prevent current members Galloway and Sidhu from seeking reelection. There are a total of nine candidates in the race including Anaheim Union High School District Trustee Jordan Brandman, Brian Chuchua, Rudy Gaona, Linda Linder, Jennifer Rivera and Duane Roberts, in addition to Lodge, Kring and Leos.
In searching for Steve Lodge’s campaign website, I discovered another inconsistency in the use of the name “Chavez” as part of his name. the URL for his campaign website is stevelodgeforanaheim.com. While he does use Chavez in the header for the website, one would think that he would have highlighted “Chavez” in is web address if it were a name he is known in the community as.