"I know I'm left-leaning when I talk to my friends," Chavez says. "It's just like ... being able to see how [they] interpret the world ... it's eye-opening for me."
And when it comes to voting for the first time, Chavez takes the task very seriously. As he was preparing to vote in the August primary, he was considering casting his vote for Democrat Doug White in the Fourth U.S. Congressional District race, but could also see his way to voting for Republican incumbent Dan Newhouse.
Newhouse is one of just 10 Republicans who voted for the impeachment of then-President Donald Trump following the Jan. 6 insurrection, which makes him distinct within his party. Yet he is far to the right of the politicians Chavez is supposedly aligned with.
That Newhouse is an incumbent with a track record on local issues that Chavez views favorably does hold a lot of sway, he says. The threads of conservatism in his family and, in his observation, the Latino community have played a part as well. And then there are simple retail politics.
“The Republican Party will go out of their way to actually speak to Latinos, and like, get them in and talking about politics,” Chavez says.