Democrats force congressional candidate to change name on ballot

Newly elected Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) (C) speaks to the assembled House after being elected as the new Speaker in Washington October 29, 2015.

REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Ruben Hinojosa is running for retiring Rep. Ruben Hinojosa's, D-Texas, seat next November.

They are not the same person and they are not related, and because of their nearly identical names, Democratic Party officials are forcing the new candidate to change his name on the ballot to Ruben Ramirez, according to The Texas Tribune.

Ramirez wanted to use his mother's surname, Hinojosa, on the ballot. But party officials said they didn't want voters to confuse him with the 75-year-old retiring congressman who served that district for two decades.

"I think it's a lapse in judgment," the 33-year-old U.S. Army combat veteran and University of Houston law student told the Tribune on Wednesday about the change. "They're letting their political friendships pressure them, and they're caving in to their friends."

According to the report, Ramirez said he believes he could launch a legal challenge to respond to the party's decision, but won't pursue it.

"You have to pick your battles," he said, adding that this one was "taking away from the message" of his campaign.

The report also noted that his campaign is taking advantage of the situation by creating a new logo that includes "Hinojosa" crossed out.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.