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Nathan Fletcher (born December 31, 1976) is an American politician, businessman, and educator who served two terms in the California State Assembly. He currently serves as a senior director of global strategic initiatives at Qualcomm, Inc., and a Professor of Practice in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego.
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Military service
- 3 Legislative and political career
- 4 Post-political career
- 5 Personal
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Early life and education
Fletcher was born and spent the early years of his life in Carson City, Nevada. His parents divorced when he was 2 years old, and his mother Sherrie moved with him to Smackover, Arkansas. There she met and married Danny Farley, who worked at an International Paper factory. His biological father, Randy Fletcher, a former deputy sheriff, obtained a custody decree in Nevada. Randy Fletcher then drove to Arkansas, where he took Nathan from his mother and returned to Nevada with him. A Nevada judge granted custody to Randy Fletcher with visitation rights for Sherrie. Nathan describes his father as abusive and said this period of his life was "a living hell". When Nathan was 8, Randy Fletcher voluntarily sent Nathan back to live with his mother; he remained with her and Danny Farley for the rest of his childhood. He says that when he talks about his Dad, he is referring to his stepfather Danny Farley, whom he counts as his only father figure. His childhood and family background became an issue during his campaign for mayor, when opponents accused him of dishonesty because of apparent inconsistencies in talking about his father. He had tried to keep the details of his background private, but faced with the accusations he and his mother gave an interview to KPBS in which they explained the apparent contradictions as resulting from the difference between his father and his stepfather.
Fletcher joined the United States Marine Corps as a reservist in 1997 and became an active duty Marine in 2002. He served as a counterintelligence/human intelligence specialist. In 2007 he was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne Course and Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center.
In 2004, he served eight months in the Sunni Triangle region of Iraq. Among his awards from this tour are the Navy–Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat "V" for valor, Combat Action Ribbon, and Iraqi Campaign Medal. He worked in the Horn of Africa on his final deployment, and earning the Joint Service Commendation Medal and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
During his time in Iraq, Fletcher worked to build community relationships with the native population, leading supervisors to describe him as "compassionate and focused." On April 9, 2004, Fletcher and three other Marines fended off an enemy ambush when participating in a Quick Reaction Force to aid a VIP convoy. He was responsible for authorizing 150 intelligence reports, which amounted to 31 percent of the reports generated by the team of 6 Counter Intelligence Marines.
Legislative and political career
In 2008 he was elected to the Assembly representing the 75th Assembly District, which includes the City of Poway, portions of Escondido, La Jolla, University City, Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Carmel Valley, and the communities of Fairbanks Ranch, and Rancho Santa Fe. He won with 52.2% of the vote. He was re-elected in 2010 with 60.5% of the vote.
In his first term, Fletcher had a number of pieces of legislation signed into law, including legislation relating to veterans, job creation, water infrastructure, and health care. He was chosen as one of two Republican Party whips in 2010.
Fletcher is best known for his sponsorship of Chelsea's Law, which toughened penalties and restrictions on violent sexual predators. On February 25, 2010, 17-year-old Chelsea King was murdered by John Albert Gardner when jogging at a local community park in Rancho Bernardo. Garner was a registered sex offender at the time of the murder and later admitted to killing 14-year-old Amber DuBois in 2009. In response to the public outrage, Fletcher sponsored Chelsea's Law to prevent future tragedies by offering life without parole sentencing to criminal charged with violent sex offenses. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 10, 2010 
In May 2010, Fletcher gave an Assembly floor speech in support of California Senate Joint Resolution 9, which called upon Congress and the President to repeal the U. S. Armed Forces policy known as "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT). Fletcher, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq and other locations, was the first California Republican legislator (he later joined the Democratic Party) to endorse ending this policy. His impassioned speech was described as "one of the most eloquent on the floor for some time."
Fletcher was a large proponent of implementing a Mandatory Single Sales Tax on out-of-state corporations that conduct business in California, but operate outside the state. The legislation, supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, would have closed a loophole in the tax code and used the savings to offer tax incentives to local industries in order to spawn in-State job creation. Fletcher's vote was instrumental in obtaining a two-thirds majority vote to guarantee the bill's passage in the Assembly during the final meeting of the 2011 legislative session. The bill, however, failed in the California State Senate.
Other notable legislation that Fletcher supported include the Corporate Tax and Middle Class Scholarship Fund, Assembly Bill 877 Prohibiting Discrimination Against Transgendered Individuals, and the Foreclosure Reduction Act.
In 2012, Fletcher helped prevent a janitor's strike in San Diego by calling CEOs on behalf of workers to advocate for expanding health care coverage.
Campaign for Mayor of San Diego
In June 2011, Fletcher announced his candidacy for the mayorship of San Diego. However, he came in third in the June 2012 primary so he did not advance to the general election. With the resignation of Mayor Bob Filner in 2013, Fletcher declared his candidacy in the special election to replace him.
On August 20, 2013 Fletcher officially filed his intention to be a mayoral candidate with the City Clerk's Office—a day before a tentative agreement was reached for Mayor Bob Filner's resignation. He was endorsed by California Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris. However, in the election held November 19, 2013 he came in third with 24.3 percent of the vote and thus did not advance to the runoff election in February 2014. On November 20 he conceded and endorsed fellow Democrat David Alvarez. He added that he intends to withdraw from public life and that "this election marks the end of my time in politics".
Following his campaign loss for Mayor in 2013, Fletcher spent a month in South America climbing Aconcagua (highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas). In an essay titled, "What a South American Mountain Taught me about Life, Loss, and Politics" he discussed the campaign loss, the combat deaths of several of his friends and his own turbulent childhood in the context of climbing a mountain and the poem "Invictus". 
Change of political parties
In March 2012, midway through his campaign for mayor of San Diego, Fletcher announced that he was quitting the Republican Party to become an independent. His announcement came a few weeks after the San Diego County Republican party endorsed rival Republican Carl DeMaio. The decision generated a flurry of publicity and a surge in the polls. However, he placed third in the June 2012 primary election for with 24.00% of the vote.
Fletcher has repeatedly said that his departure from the Republican Party was due to extreme partisan politics and to the party's shift away from his core values. During his term in the Assembly he often voted with the Democrats or worked across the aisle to develop bipartisan bills. On May 4, 2013, Fletcher announced on his Facebook page that he was joining the Democratic Party. Fletcher was widely embraced by Democratic Leaders, many of whom had been courting him for years to join the party.
Fletcher worked for nongovernmental organizations seeking to build and improve democracies around the world. This includes time abroad working with non-governmental organizations to build and improve democracies in Myanmar, East Timor, Cambodia and Serbia.
Following the end of his legislative term in December 2, 2012, Fletcher became the senior director of corporate development at Qualcomm. He said in a statement that his position will include developing global strategies for wireless health initiatives, mobile education and the protection of intellectual property but will not involve lobbying or government relations.
In January 2013, Fletcher was appointed as the first Professor of Practice at the University of California San Diego. He teaches classes in the department of political science, as well as mentoring and advising students and helping to develop public policy projects. Professor of Practice is a new, privately funded position at the University intended to "provid(e) students with a deeper understanding of the practical application of a particular field of study, and help promote the integration of academic scholarship with practical experience from applications professionals.”
San Diegans United for Common Sense Immigration Reform
On March 13, 2013, Fletcher brought together law enforcement, community, business, labor and faith-based leaders to form San Diegans United for Common Sense Immigration Reform. The coalition came to an agreement to advocate for a pathway to citizenship, reform to the immigrant visa system, smart border security, and basic human rights.
Television commentator and writer
Fletcher is an Ironman Triathlete, marathon runner, alpine mountaineer and mountain biker. He lives in San Diego with his wife, Mindy, who has served as deputy campaign manager and deputy chief of staff for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fletcher has served on the Board of Directors for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historical Society.
- Guardian, UCSD. "Nathan Fletcher Named First ‘Professor of Practice’ at UC San Diego". Retrieved 24 Jan 2013.
- Faryon, Joanne. "The Truth About Nathan Fletcher: Mayoral Candidate Reveals Abusive Childhood (Video)". KPBS San Diego. Retrieved 14 Nov 2013.
- "Nathan Fletcher: a short bio". San Diego Union Tribune. Aug 7, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
- Craig Gustafson (Nov 26, 2011). "Mayoral candidate served in Iraq, Africa". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Dillon, Liam. "For Fletcher, Military and Political Identities Rooted in the Personal". http://voiceofsandiego.org. Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Salas, Dagny. "Nathan Fletcher Award Recommendation". http://www.voiceofsandiego.org. Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- California Secretary of State: November 2008 election results
- California Secretary of State: November 2010 election results
- "Nathan Fletcher". California State Assembly. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- "San Diego GOP lawmakers named to leadership posts", San Diego Union Tribune, December 13, 2010
- Gardner, Michael (August 19, 2012). "Chelsea's Law could launch national movement". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "AB1844". http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/. California State Assembly.
- Duke, Alan (10 September 2010). "Schwarzenegger signs California's 'Chelsea's Law'". CNN. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Fletcher, Nathan. "Speech in support of SJR 9". Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- Gardner, Mike. "Fletcher Backs End to "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Policy". Newspaper. San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- Yamamura, Kevin (9 September 2011). "Assembly passes Jerry Brown's business tax changes". Sacramento Bee. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "Nathan Fletcher Voting Record". http://votesmart.org/. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- "First-in-the-Nation Legislative Package Will Make Foreclosure Process Fairer, Hold Banks Accountable". http://www.responsiblelending.org. Center for Responsible Lending. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Kuhney, Jen (18 June 2012). "Fletcher quietly worked to avert janitors strike". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- "Assemblyman Fletcher Enters San Diego Mayoral Race". Scripps TV Station Group. June 6, 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-01.
- "County of San Diego Presidential Primary Election, June 5, 2012". San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Former assemblyman files papers to fill Bob Filner's mayoral seat". Los Angeles Times. August 23, 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
- Gustafson, Craig (August 23, 2013). "Fletcher declares intent to run for mayor". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Weisberg, Lori (October 29, 2013). "http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/oct/29/attorney-general-kamala-harris-fletcher-mayor/". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "San Diego mayor race: Alvarez, Faulconer expected to meet in runoff". ABC 10 News. November 19, 2013. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- "Nathan Fletcher concedes San Diego mayoral race, endorses David Alvarez". ABC 10 News. November 20, 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Fletcher, Nathan. "What a South American Mountain Taught Me About Life, Loss and Politics". Essay. Voice of San Diego. Retrieved 18 Feb 2014.
- Craig Gustafson (March 28, 2012). "Fletcher quits GOP, turns independent". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Skelton, George (April 2, 2012). "California GOP loses an up-and-comer in Nathan Fletcher - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Poll: Nathan Fletcher jumps to second in San Diego mayor race". Sacramento Bee. April 13, 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Morrison, Pat (28 April 2012). "Nathan Fletcher, San Diego's renegade ex-Republican". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
- Fletcher, Nathan. "Facebook Post on Joining Democratic Party". Social Media Essay. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
- "Former assemblyman, San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher joining Democratic Party". ABC 10 News. May 4, 2013. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- Kucher, Karen. "Fletcher hired as professor at UCSD". Union Tribune San Diego. Retrieved 18 Jan 2013.
- "Bio". UCSD San Diego.
- Steussy, Lauren (November 15, 2012). "Fletcher's New Job: Qualcomm". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Cavanaugh, Maureen (13 March 2013). "San Diego Leaders Tackle Immigration Reform". KPBS. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- "San Diegans United for Commonsense Immigration Reform". www.youtube.com. KPBS San Diego.
- Fletcher, Nathan. "Our Modern-Day Crisis". San Diego Magazine. Retrieved 15 Feb 2013.
- "Chamber turns on the charm". Sacramento Bee. February 12, 2006. p. D1.
- "Society SitRep". San Diego, CA: Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historical Society. July 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-01.