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From soaring political star to stunning resignation: Rise and fall of Nathan Fletcher

Rise and fall of Nathan Fletcher
Posted at 4:11 PM, Mar 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-30 20:31:52-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - From a rising political star to a stunning resignation, Nathan Fletcher has been a familiar face in local politics for the last 15 years.

After a decade in the Marines, including a deployment to Iraq, Nathan Fletcher left the Marines in 2007 with the rank of staff sergeant.

The next year, he was elected to the State Assembly in the 75th Assembly District, becoming a Republican Whip two years later.

“An understatement to say he was a rising star. He was a rocket … He’s got it all, quite honestly. He’s very intelligent. He knows policy. He knows politics. He’s very eloquent, well-spoken, and he’s good-looking,” said Dadian.

As a legislator, Fletcher sponsored Chelsea's Law, which toughened penalties on violent sexual predators, after local teens Chelsea King and Amber Dubois were murdered by John Gardner.

In 2011, Fletcher announced his bid to be the Mayor of San Diego, placing third in the primary.

In a span of two years, he would switch parties twice.

“He went first from a Republican to an Independent and then a Democrat. The Republicans weren't happy, and the Democrats were ecstatic,” said Dadian.

In 2013, as a Democrat, he ran for mayor to replace disgraced Mayor Bob Filner and again, lost.

In 2017, he married then Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, forming a political power couple.

In 2018, his political fortunes would turn, when he beat out four others to win a seat on the County Board of Supervisors.

During the pandemic, Fletcher became a face of the county's response, supporting vaccine and mask mandates.

“Clearly hurt him a little, but got him a lot of state recognition as being one of the strong leaders for things such as quarantine, etc,” said Dadian.

Several years later, amid a lawsuit and allegations of sexual assault, Fletcher would abandon a bid for the State Senate, before resigning from the Board of Supervisors.

“I've been doing politics for 40 years, and this is one of the biggest falls from graces I have seen,” said Dadian.