Two weeks ago, Japan’s Supreme Court upheld a 117-year-old law requiring all married couples to share the same last name. Many considered the ruling anachronistic if not outright discriminatory to Japanese women, who take their husband’s surname 96 percent of the time. When it comes to politics, though, name recognition is the name of the game. Enter Darcie Green, a State Assembly candidate and county board of education trustee. Last time we checked in, Green was getting engaged on a Summer Jazz Fest stage in downtown San Jose. After a Thanksgiving wedding, Green and her husband, Rick, decided he would tack on her last name to become Rick Alexander Green. The choice to eschew patriarchal tradition has been applauded by local politicos and wags, but that’s just half the story. Rick actually took the name as a way to honor his new father in-law, Robert Green, who had a profound effect on his new son in-law’s life. Robert has two daughters but no sons by blood. The equality angle was simply a happy byproduct of honoring one man’s legacy. But more and more married couples are keeping their own names, going with hyphenates or experimenting with hit-or-miss mash-ups where two names are combined—in this case we’d have Grander, or the less appealing Alexeen. The Greens’ homage couples with a progressive approach to spousal equality, but it also makes good political sense. Green has aspired to serve in the Assembly her entire life, so throwing voters for a loop with a new name six months before the 2016 primary could imperil her chances of advancing to the runoff. She’s already facing tough competition from Madison Nguyen, a former San Jose councilmember who also retained her surname, and Ash Kalra, who remains on the council one more year. Other examples of women in local politics who have built a public persona and retained their names include county Supervisor Cindy Chavez, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and San Jose Vice Mayor Rose Herrera. The latter two decided against changing their names a second time after remarrying.