I recieved an e-mail today informing me of the passing of Lorenzo Torres.
Torres made several runs for office, beginning with a tilt at a South Side senate seat in 1978 (he placed last out of four candidates). The following election, he made a run for US Senate against Barry Goldwater. He followed on with two runs against liberal icon Mo Udall. In 1990, he finished off his electoral career pretty close to where he started: a run for a South Side seat in the legislature.
Aside from quixotic runs for office, he was a fixture in far left circles in our community for decades. So, what gave this guy cred among the radicals? You ever seen the movie Salt of the Earth? Torres was a participant in the 1950 strike that that movie was based on.
After the strike, he came to Arizona and became one of those “community organizers” so derided on the right.
Oh yeah. He was also a Communist. Card carrying and everything.
I’ve never figured out if it’s true or just an urban legend that you can’t actually run as a Communist in Arizona. In any case, Torres never appeared on the ballot as one: he used a variety of ballot lines including People Before Profit and Martin Luther King Party.
His politics were notably to the left of mine, but his passion for equality was admirable.