Something odd will occur on the ballots in the next Texas election—a Democratic candidate to replace retiring Rep. Ruben Hinojosa has the exact same name.
Ruben Ramirez Hinojosa, a 33-year-old University of Houston law student and U.S. Army combat veteran, will seek the 75-year-old Hinojosa’s seat in the House, but some Democrats say this could confuse voters, reports the Texas Tribune.
“From the party’s perspective, I am concerned,” Ricardo Godinez, the local Democratic Party chair told the newspaper. “It’s an open seat, and it’s hard to get voters to vote in the first place, and to have them fully informed.”
Rep. Hinojosa—a Republican—and his staff in Washington have reportedly discussed asking the Democrats to list the candidate on the ballot as Ruben Ramon Ramirez. Hinojosa ran unsuccessfully under that name in 2012, but is choosing to use his mother’s name in this election even though it’s not on his drivers’ license.
Hinojosa the younger told the Texas Tribune that he is not a fan of his retiring namesake. “He’s been a do-nothing, do-little congressman,” Ramirez Hinojosa told the Tribune. “My name and me going out there — if anything, could help his image.”
He said supporters had called on him to run under his mother’s name in the last election, but that he declined for the time being. “I didn’t do it last time because I didn’t want anybody to get confused,” he said. “Now that he’s out, it’s a different playing field.”