SAN DIEGO -- Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher announced Wednesday that he is leaving the Republican Party to become an independent candidate in the race for San Diego mayor.
In a video posted on YouTube, Fletcher said that he thought about becoming an independent for some time before making his decision. "It's time to reject the politics of divisiveness and polarization. It's time to stop pandering to the extremes and start rebuilding our city, " Fletcher said. "That's why today I'm leaving partisan politics. I'm leaving an environment that thrives on playing the game. I'm leaving behind a system that is completely dysfunctional. I'm embracing an independence to focus solely on solutions on working with people if their ideas are good -- a focus of solely advancing the interests of our city. "
Fletcher, who served a decade in the Marine Corps, currently represents the 75th District in the California State Assembly. He is running to replace Mayor Jerry Sanders, who will be termed out. Other mayoral candidates include Councilman Carl DeMaio, a Republican; District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, a Republican; and Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego. The job is non partisan.
Without naming them, Fletcher pointedly criticized the two front runners, Demaio and Filner, for being too partisan and beholden to their parties' priorities.
Filner released the following statement Wednesday:
"Although I usually don’t agree with Republican Party Chair Tony Krvaric, I think this time he has gotten it right: 'It is impossible to trust Nathan Fletcher, because he isn’t about ideas, principles or solutions. Today’s move is all about his own personal ambitions for higher office, nothing more. This is pandering at its worst.'"