The San Diego Police Officers Association Wednesday endorsed the mayoral campaign of Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego.
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"In our opinion, he is the only candidate who offers the leadership and commitment necessary to get our city back on track," said Brian Marvel, president of the SDPOA. "Nathan has the characteristics that San Diego needs in a mayor."
Marvel, in a news conference in front of San Diego Police Department headquarters, said Fletcher has the willingness to take action to implement his vision for the city.
Fletcher authored Chelsea's Law, which tightens scrutiny of paroled sexually violent predators, and ushered it through the Legislature last year. The law was named for young murder victim Chelsea King, who was killed by a registered sex offender in Rancho Bernardo.
King's parents endorsed Fletcher last week.
Fletcher said he was "grateful and humbled" to gain the backing of "the brave men and women in uniform."
"I am proud to be the choice of police officers and law enforcement, and will campaign as their choice," he told news crews.
The assemblyman, who said his first priority as mayor would be public safety, described himself as a seasoned public servant who could lead the city out of its recent fiscal difficulties and political divisions.
"It's time to turn the page on the last decade and start anew," he said.
Marvel said his members' biggest fear is that continued budget shortfalls could make law enforcement less of a priority for funding, so the next mayor has to get the city's financial house in order.
He said he does not agree with Fletcher on all the issues, and assumes that will continue into the future, but he would rather have a mayor who can lead San Diego "into a more prosperous future."
During the news conference, another show of law enforcement support for Fletcher's mayoral run came from the San Diego and Imperial counties chapter of the Peace Officers Research Association of California. The group's president, Jesus Montana, told reporters the state lawmaker could provide "the type of leadership that we need in City Hall."
He faces Councilman Carl DeMaio, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego -- among others -- in next June's primary.
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