Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher stunned many San Diegans prior to the June primary when he released a video announcing his departure from the Republican Party. During the video he stated that he would be running as an independent for Mayor because he believes public service is about putting solutions first. Ultimately his candidacy fell short and he finished in third place in the primary and will not appear on the general election ballot.
Regardless of the outcome of his mayoral campaign, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher was clear that he had learned that the primary interest of political insiders was not solutions, but to preserve problems and use them in campaigns. He pledged to give credit to any person if their ideas are good regardless of their party.
That statement in his announcement video addresses the one question that all independent candidates have to answer to voters, “how independent are you?” This inquiry has not escaped Assemblyman Fletcher, and his credentials as an independent will be investigated by voters throughout the remainder of his career.
Now, with the general election approaching, the independent Assemblyman is endorsing candidates for offices around San Diego. While he is doing this, independent voters around the city are looking in and monitoring who this new independent politician will support.
So far his endorsements have been bi-partisan. Speaking not only to his independence, but possibly combating the thought that he may switch parties. His first endorsement went to Democratic port commissioner Scott Peters. Peters is running against Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray who was in Congress from 1995-2001 and began his second series of terms after a five-year hiatus in 2006.
Following his endorsement of a local Democrat, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher endorsed Republican Ray Ellis who is running against Democrat Sherri Lightner for San Diego City Council.
Two endorsements and a web video announcing his break from Republicans may not be enough to satisfy independent voters yet, but it is a start. If Fletcher wants to prove to a voting bloc that tends to be skeptical of politicians claiming to be independent he will have to continue to push away from partisanship.