Home>Articles>Controversial SD County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher Announces Run For State Senate In 2024

SD Supervisor Nathan Fletcher (Photo: sandiegocounty.gov)

Controversial SD County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher Announces Run For State Senate In 2024

‘He loses a lot of support right off the bat for leaving the GOP a decade ago’

By Evan Symon, February 6, 2023 1:27 pm

Former Assemblyman and current San Diego County Supervisor announced Monday that he plans to run for the 39th District state Senate seat in 2024, hoping to replace current Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) who is set to be term-limited out of office.

A graduate of California Baptist University, Fletcher entered the military following a stint at the International Republican Institute in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Serving as a Marine Corps reservist from 1997-2002, and then as a full-time Marine from 2002-2007, Fletcher’s service included a tour of duty in Iraq during the Iraq War. Following discharge, Fletcher was a District Director for former Congressman Duke Cunningham for two years before being elected into the Assembly as a Republican in 2008.

Serving from 2008 to 2012, Fletcher authored many prominent pieces of legislation, including the Chelsea’s law bill, which greatly increased penalties for violent sexual predators, and was known as one of the GOP’s most prominent LGBT supporters in Sacramento. Fletcher left the Assembly in 2012 to run for Mayor of San Diego, only to lose in the June primary. The next year, following switching parties from Republican to Democrat, he tried again during a special election following the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner, but once again came in third and missed the runoff, despite endorsements from both Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris.

For the next five years Fletcher became both a professor at UC San Diego and as a Qualcomm executive. During this time he also married then Assemblywoman and current California Labor Federation leader Lorena Gonzalez.  In 2018, Fletcher reentered politics, becoming a San Diego County Supervisor. Since his election, Fletcher has become a prominent voice on the homeless issue in California, and has been known for his support of environmental issues. The latter has been so prominent that in 2019 Governor Gavin Newsom appointed him a board member of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). More recently, Fletcher ended his two year Presidency of the Board of Supervisors last month, reverting back to being a regular board member.

Now no longer the President of the Board of Supervisors, Fletcher announced his state Senate run on Monday. In a press release early Monday morning, Fletcher outlined that he will be targeting issues such as low wages, and working toward a better cost of living in California.

“As a Marine in combat, a State legislator, an educator, and now as a County Supervisor, the desire to serve people has been my driving force. I feel more dedicated to that purpose more than ever before,” said Fletcher on Monday. “Working families are facing incredible economic challenges and need a fighter in Sacramento. From leading one of the most effective COVID responses in the nation to leading Marines in combat, I’ve never shied away from taking on the toughest fights. I’m running for State Senate to deliver higher wages, a lower cost of living, and a fundamentally fair shot at a better life that every San Diego County family deserves.”

In a Twitter post, he added that “I learned an important lesson early in my time in the Marine Corps–officers eat last. You take care of those who work the hardest first. I’m running for State Senate to continue putting working San Diegans first — and I hope you’ll stand with me.”

Fletcher’s announcement was met with approval by many, with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera already giving him endorsements. Others noted that Fletcher will likely face major challenges from both Republicans and fellow Democrats alike.

“Redistricting has thrown a lot more red areas into the mix in the 39th,” explained San Diego County pollster Katie Shea to the Globe on Monday. “Atkins stayed in with a lot of Democratic votes and being a well-known name there. But with the changed district, the GOP has more of a shot there next year. Plus, a lot of San Diego Democrats have been kind of held back by not too many of these elected positions opening up. I mean, he probably saw Porter and the others enter the US Senate race early and decided to do the same. To get ahead of everyone else on this.”

“Fletcher is well known in San Diego, but he is also going to have to shake off the fact that his previous run for a higher office ended in disaster. Two years in a row. With all the top people of the state supporting him. It doesn’t dismiss him as a serious candidate, but it is also a red flag. Also, he also loses a lot of support right off the bat for leaving the GOP a decade ago. A lot of Republicans won’t forgive him for that, and a lot of Democrats might feel uneasy voting for him in the primary, especially if other prominent Democrats join in. It doomed him in 2012 and 2013, and it may do it again. But he also has his wife coming up for him, which means heavy union support too. There’s a lot going on here, but the question will be if it is enough.”

Other candidates are likely to join the 39th District Senate race soon.

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Evan Symon
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5 thoughts on “Controversial SD County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher Announces Run For State Senate In 2024

  1. Controversial…
    Let me – as a reporter – translate that for everyone else from what a reporter has to write and what everyone who has met the person knows – batbleep maniac

  2. Nate Fletcher sought the GOP nomination for San Diego Mayor in 2012. Instead, the SD GOP endorsed Carl DaMaio. When this happened, Fletcher left the party saying that Republicans weren’t diverse enough. Fletcher is a straight white male; DaMaio is gay and the son of Italian immigrants. Now, Fletcher is married to the public self-servant who hurt the gig economy in California.
    Time to put up a good GOP candidate to run for that seat and get a good ballot harvesting operation to bank votes early. For more information, you can go to EarlyVoteAction.com to organize and mobilize Republicans to vote early, so that by the time Election Day rolls around, the Republican victory is much more likely.

  3. NOPE!
    He has an agenda that has nothing to do with representing the majority of Californians. He listens to no one and gets hostile when opposing views are presented. His my way or the highway attitude makes him a solid NOPE!
    That’s if you still believe your vote actually does anything.

  4. Just what California needs. Another Marxist in the State Senate, to help replace the ‘loss’ of his bride, Imelda Gonzalez, to the union gravy train.

    Fighting for the little people and putting the working people of San Diego first. Yeah, right. What a fraud.

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