SAN DIEGO - Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher announced Wednesday he is "leaving public life" and will support City Councilman David Alvarez's bid for San Diego mayor.
After 100 percent of precincts were reported, Fletcher was less than 3,000 votes behind Alvarez in the race for second place. Alvarez received 52,283 votes, 25.59 percent of the vote, and Fletcher 49,645, 24.3 percent.
In a noon press conference, Fletcher said he contacted Alvarez and City Councilman Kevin Faulconer to congratulate them. He acknowledged that he did not believe uncounted ballots would change the results.
"I leave today with my head held high, feeling really good about the campaign that we ran, about the ideas we've advanced, about the way we've conducted ourselves," he told reporters.
Fletcher said he promised his wife he would step away from public life if he lost the race.
In a message sent to his supporters, Fletcher said:
"Fortune favors the bold"
Those are the words of Virgil and I believe they are true in life. However, they aren't always true in political campaigns.
I am very proud of the ideas we advanced, the way we conducted our campaign and the vision we laid out for San Diego. I had an amazing team and committed group of supporters.
However, in the end it wasn't enough. We ended up 1% point short of advancing to the run off.
I want to thank all of you who had faith in me and stood strong in a tough campaign. I will never forget you.
While this election marks the end of my time in politics, I leave with my head held high. I will always care deeply about our city, state, and country and look forward to finding new ways to make a positive difference.
I am proud of my time as a public servant for the people of San Diego. I know whether during my time in the State Assembly or more recently in the campaign for mayor, I gave it everything I had and am eternally grateful to all who helped me.
Alvarez will take on fellow Councilman Kevin Faulconer in a runoff election on a still-to-be scheduled date early next year.
Faulconer led a field of 12 candidates in Tuesday's special election with 43.58 percent of the vote, with vote by mail ballots and all 581 precincts counted, according to figures released by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.
The only other candidate to receive at least 1 percent of the vote was former City Attorney Michael Aguirre, who finished fourth with 4.44 percent.
The special election was brought about by Filner's resignation in August, when he was under fire for sexual harassment and being investigated for various other transgressions, including alleged shakedowns of developers.
Filner subsequently pleaded guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment by violence and two misdemeanor counts of battery and was placed on three years probation.