Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, perhaps best known for his work championing "Chelsea's Law," legislation aimed at violent sex offenders that was named for 17-year-old victim Chelsea King, kicked off his mayoral campaign Monday morning with an announcement in Sorrento Valley.
Video:Analyst Reacts To Fletcher's Mayoral Run Announcement
Business leaders, veterans, friends and family packed a room at NuVasive, Inc., a medical technology company in Sorrento Valley, to support Fletcher.
"It's time to turn the page. Time for a new vision, a new energy, time for a new generation of leaders not tied to the gridlock or problems of the past to step forward and lead," Fletcher said.
Fletcher's wife, Mindy, and two young sons, one of whom is just weeks old, joined him on stage.
He said he chose to make his announcement at NuVasive because innovation will be a key theme in his campaign.
"Companies like this are the cornerstone of our city's economy. We want a lot more like you in San Diego. We can do that, but it will take the right leadership, and that's why we're here," Fletcher told the crowd.
According to his online biography
, Fletcher who represents California's 75th District, is the first combat veteran of the Global War on Terror to serve in the California State Legislature. Fletcher spent a decade in the Marine Corps, working in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism.
His biography describes Fletcher's Chelsea's Law like this:Assemblyman Fletcher is the author of Chelsea's Law - the comprehensive legislation that reforms the way California deals with violent sexual predators who target children. This landmark bill includes a true life without parole sentencing option for the most serious first-time offenders, fifty-one separate penalty increases for sex crimes perpetrated against children, the allowance for lifetime parole, and polygraph testing for sex offenders on parole.
"I was told repeatedly Chelsea's Law couldn't be done; it would never happen. We rejected this mentality and brought an open mind to our effort; a willingness to consider any suggestion, to bring onboard any potential supporter and we got it done," Fletcher said.
According to a 10News scientific poll conducted earlier this year, Fletcher still has work to do if he wants to be San Diego's next mayor.
Poll respondents gave Fletcher a 20 percent favorability rating and 12 percent rated him unfavorable.
In the same poll, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis had the highest favorability at 31 percent. Rep. Bob Filner, who is also considering a run, had a 30 percent favorability rating. State Sen. Christine Kehoe's favorability rating was 28 percent, although she has not officially entered the mayoral race. DeMaio's favorability was 27 percent, while San Diego City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer had a 20 percent favorability rating.
"This is the most widespread, broad depth of candidates that I've seen in quite a few years," said political analyst John Dadian.
Dadian told 10News there are six to eight credible candidates who are elected officials but there are another seven or eight candidates who have already filed papers to run for San Diego mayor. He predicted as many as 15 people could be on the June 2012 mayoral ballot.
"Nobody will get 50 percent," Dadian said, who added that the candidates will be fighting for a spot on the runoff ballot. "They will need only 10 to 15 percent of the votes to get in the runoff, so any one of the six can win."
Because the field is expected to be so wide, Dadian said he expects the campaigns to get dirty.
"When the gloves come off, some candidates are going to be wearing brass knuckles," he said. "If something's in your background and you're in public office, it's going to come out. As we saw with Arnold Schwarzenegger, it may take a decade, but it's going to come out."
Read: DeMaio Kicks Off Mayoral Run
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