Nathan Fletcher

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Nathan Fletcher
Nathan Fletcher 2013.jpg
Fletcher in 2013
Member of the
San Diego County Board of Supervisors
for the 4th district
Assumed office
January 7, 2019 [1]
Preceded byRon Roberts
Member of the California State Assembly for the 75th district
In office
December 1, 2008 – November 30, 2012
Preceded byGeorge Plescia
Succeeded byMarie Waldron
Personal details
Born (1976-12-31) December 31, 1976 (age 44)
Carson City, Nevada, US
Political partyRepublican (until 2012)[2]
Unaffiliated (2012–2013)
Democratic (2013–present)
Mindy Tucker
(m. 2003; div. 2015)

(m. 2017)
ResidenceSan Diego, California
Alma materCalifornia Baptist University
OccupationPolitician, educator
AwardsCombat Action Ribbon.svg Combat Action Ribbon Airborne

Joint Service Commendation ribbon.svg Joint Service Commendation Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Achievement ribbon.svg Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (V)
Iraq Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Iraq Campaign Medal
Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal ribbon.svg Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg National Defense Service Medal

Selected Marine Corps Reserve ribbon.svg Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal
WebsiteNathan Fletcher
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1997–2007
UnitUnited States Marine Corps Reserves
Battles/warsIraq War
Global War on Terror

Nathan Fletcher (born December 31, 1976) is an American politician, and educator who served two terms in the California State Assembly.[3] He serves as a professor of practice in political science at the University of California, San Diego.[2] He is also Supervisor for the 4th District and the Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Childhood photo of Fletcher standing with Governor Bill Clinton in Arkansas.

Fletcher was born and spent the early years of his life in Carson City, Nevada. His parents divorced when he was two 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".

Fletcher was sent back to live with his mother when he was eight years old; 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.[3]

He graduated from Smackover High School and moved to California, earning a Bachelor of Science in political science from California Baptist University.


After graduating from college, Fletcher worked for the International Republican Institute,[5] a nongovernmental organizations seeking to build and improve democracies around the world.[6] This included time abroad working with non-governmental organizations in Myanmar, East Timor, Cambodia, and Serbia.[7]

Military service[edit]

Fletcher served in Iraq in 2004.

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.[8]

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" a combat distinguishing device,[9] Combat Action Ribbon, and Iraqi Campaign Medal.[9] 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.[9]

During his time in Iraq, Fletcher worked to build community relationships with the native population, leading supervisors to describe him as "compassionate and focused."[10] 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.[11] He was responsible for authorizing 150 intelligence reports, which amounted to 31 percent of the reports generated by the team of six Counter Intelligence Marines.[11]


District Director for United States Congress[edit]

Fletcher got his start in San Diego politics serving for two years as the District Director for Congressman Duke Cunningham. "But for most of that time, Fletcher didn’t work there. Fletcher was on active duty in the Marines," according to an investigative report by the Voice of San Diego published in 2012 on Fletcher's relationship with the jailed former Congressman.[12]

State Assembly[edit]

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.[13] He was re-elected in 2010 with 60.5% of the vote.[14]

Fletcher served two terms in the California State Assembly

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.[15] He was chosen as one of two Republican Party whips in 2010.[16]

As a legislator, he also authored Chelsea's Law, which toughened penalties and restrictions on violent sexual predators.[17] 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.[18] The bill was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 10, 2010 [19]

In May 2010, Fletcher gave an Assembly floor speech[20] 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 to endorse ending this policy. His speech was described as "one of the most eloquent on the floor for some time."[21]

That same year, Fletcher opposed AJR 15, the "Uniting American Families Act," that sought to "support the removal of legal barriers to immigration by permanent same-sex partners" [22] and "allow gay and lesbian citizens to sponsor their partners for United States citizenship."[23]

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.[24] 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.[25][26]

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.[27]

San Diego mayoral election[edit]

In June 2011, Fletcher announced his candidacy for the mayorship of San Diego.[28] Fletcher started the race as a registered Republican. However, a few weeks after the local Republican Party endorsed his opponent Carl DeMaio, Fletcher announced he was leaving the Republican Party to become an independent.[29] Fletcher ultimately came in third in the June 2012 primary and did not advance to the general election.[30]

Supporters gather around Fletcher during his 2013 Mayoral bid.

On August 20, 2013, Fletcher, now a Democrat, 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.[31] Fletcher was endorsed by California Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris.[32] 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.[33] On November 20, he conceded and endorsed fellow Democrat David Alvarez.

Change of political parties[edit]

Governor Jerry Brown endorsed Fletcher during the 2013 Special Mayoral Election.

Fletcher has repeatedly said that his departure from the Republican Party midway through his first mayoral campaign was due to extreme partisan politics and to the party's shift away from his core values,[34] and not because the local Republican Party endorsed his opponent.[35] On May 4, 2013, Fletcher announced on his Facebook page that he was joining the Democratic Party.[36] Fletcher was widely embraced by Democratic leaders, many of whom had been courting him for years to join the party.[37]

San Diego County supervisor[edit]

In 2018 Fletcher ran for an open seat representing District 4 on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. There were five candidates in the June primary, with the top two advancing to the November general election.[38] Fletcher was the first-place finisher and former District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis placed second. He was the Democratic candidate for the seat and Dumanis was the Republican, though the election was officially nonpartisan. During the campaign Fletcher touted various endorsements including now President Joe Biden,[39] former Governor Jerry Brown, then-Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, the Sierra Club, labor unions, and the San Diego Democratic Party. Fletcher was also endorsed by the San Diego Union-Tribune, stating "We think the county needs a wake-up call, and Fletcher is far more likely to jolt it out of complacency."[40] Fletcher won the general election, defeating Dumanis 67.37% to 32.63%.[41]

As a County Supervisor, Nathan Fletcher is working with mental health experts to develop and implement comprehensive strategies to address the deficits and dysfunction in our behavioral health services system. He is raising the level of awareness about the effects of San Diego’s poor air quality and implementing policy to combat climate change. Supervisor Fletcher is also actively pursuing changes to the child welfare system to ensure every child has a loving and stable life[42].

As Supervisor, Nathan Fletcher has taken meaningful legislative action to help immigrants by introducing bipartisan solutions to address the migrant crisis in San Diego and take on the Trump Administration. His votes helped generate hundreds-of-millions of dollars for affordable housing, health care and community-based programs for seniors, low income families and children.  He is also working to prepare our region for its continued growth and prosperity by championing the expansion of our regional transit system, as well as new initiatives that help to attract and retain talent, as we approach the end of the COVID-19 pandemic[43].

Supervisor Fletcher’s responsibilities to San Diego, the region and state go beyond his role as Supervisor. He was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to serve as a member of the California Air Resources Board. He is also a member of the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors and Vice Chair of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. Supervisor Fletcher is Co-Chair of the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board. He is also Chair of the Metropolitan Transit System Board and a member of the San Diego Association of Governments’ Transportation Committee. On January 7, 2019 Fletcher was sworn in as a member of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.[44] On January 28, during Fletcher's first Board meeting, Fletcher, along with Supervisor Greg Cox, put forth a policy to provide a facility for asylum-seeking families in San Diego. It passed with a 4–1 vote. On February 26 Fletcher partnered with Supervisor Dianne Jacob to present a community choice energy program for the County of San Diego. The proposal passed with a 5–0 vote.[citation needed]

Fletcher was appointed to the California Air Resources Board by Governor Newsom on January 28, 2019.[45] Fletcher was elected as Chair of the Board on January 5th, 2021.

Non-political activities[edit]


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 would include developing global strategies for wireless health initiatives, mobile education, and the protection of intellectual property, but will not involve lobbying or government relations.[46] His title was later changed to Global Strategic Initiatives, and in 2017, he announced he was leaving Qualcomm to dedicate more time to UCSD and community issues.

Fletcher also served as a television commentator for Fox 5 San Diego[47] and paid contributor to San Diego Magazine.[48]


In January 2013, Fletcher was appointed as the first Professor of Practice (officially an Adjunct Professor) at the University of California, San Diego.[49] 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 was 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."[50]

In 2013, an investigative report by the San Diego Union Tribune noted that, unlike the other candidates for mayor, Fletcher did not make his college transcripts public, nor provide them to UCSD before his hiring. The university said it did not ask for his transcript and did not need it for the appointment as a professor of practice.[51]

Political and community activities[edit]

Nathan Fletcher met with President Obama, representing the Truman National Security Project, to discuss and support the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.

Fletcher remains politically active; supporting Democratic candidates and progressive causes. He is a member of the national advisory board of Organizing for Action, the successor organization of President Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.[52] He is a member of the Statewide Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California,[53] and a member of the Aspen Institute Global Alliances Program Advisory Board.[54] He is also a member of the National Advisory Board of the Truman National Security Project.[55] He is a delegate of the California Democratic Party, member of San Diego Democratic Central Committee, was a 2016 delegate to the Democratic National Committee, and has been active in supporting Democratic candidates and causes such as efforts to raise the minimum wage. He also remains involved in efforts to ensure implementation of Chelsea's Law. He is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Human Rights,.[56] He is a Kauffman Fellow and Tribeca Innovative Disruptive Fellow.[57]

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.[58] 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.[59]

Personal life[edit]

Fletcher is an Ironman Triathlete, marathon runner, alpine mountaineer, and mountain biker.[8] In 2003, he married Mindy Tucker, who had served as campaign manager and deputy chief of staff for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[60] The couple has two adopted children. They separated on December 1, 2014, and filed for divorce in January 2015. In an NBC story they issued a joint statement, "We have made the best decision for our family. It is an amicable divorce and we remain good friends. Our first priority is our children and we hope that everyone will respect our privacy as we make this transition."[61] In September 2015, Fletcher began dating Lorena Gonzalez, who currently serves in the California State Assembly representing California's 80th District.[62] They were married January 1, 2017.[63]

In December 2018, Fletcher publicly acknowledged his 19-year-old son. Fletcher told the Voice of San Diego news site, "My 19-year-old son just came into our life and it is wonderful." [64]

Fletcher has served on the Board of Directors for the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historical Society,[65] a member of The American Legion, life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, member of the board of directors of the San Diego Opera, Executive Committee of CONNECT, Community Advisory Council for Voices for Children, and the San Diego Regional Advisory Council of the California League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.


  1. ^ Ruth, Brooke; Hindmon, Jade. "Nathan Fletcher Proposes Assistance To Asylum Seekers As First Act On Board Of Supervisors". Retrieved January 11, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Faryon, Joanne. "The Truth About Nathan Fletcher: Mayoral Candidate Reveals Abusive Childhood (Video)". KPBS San Diego. Retrieved November 14, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Fletcher, Nathan. "Nathan Fletcher". Retrieved February 16, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^
  6. ^ Kucher, Karen. "Fletcher hired as professor at UCSD". Union Tribune San Diego. Retrieved January 18, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Bio". UCSD San Diego. Archived from the original on August 4, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Nathan Fletcher: a short bio". San Diego Union Tribune. August 7, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ a b c Gustafson, Craig (November 26, 2011). "Mayoral candidate served in Iraq, Africa". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved March 31, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Dillon, Liam. "For Fletcher, Military and Political Identities Rooted in the Personal". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved July 7, 2014. External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ a b Salas, Dagny. "Nathan Fletcher Award Recommendation". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved July 7, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^
  13. ^ California Secretary of State: November 2008 election results Archived October 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ California Secretary of State: November 2010 election results Archived October 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Nathan Fletcher". California State Assembly. Retrieved March 31, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ "San Diego GOP lawmakers named to leadership posts", San Diego Union Tribune, December 13, 2010
  17. ^ Gardner, Michael (August 19, 2012). "Chelsea's Law could launch national movement". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved November 19, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "AB1844". California State Assembly.
  19. ^ Duke, Alan (September 10, 2010). "Schwarzenegger signs California's 'Chelsea's Law'". CNN. Retrieved July 7, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Fletcher, Nathan. "Speech in support of SJR 9". Retrieved May 13, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ Gardner, Mike. "Fletcher Backs End to "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Policy". Newspaper. San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved May 13, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ "Bill Votes". Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  23. ^ "Bill Analysis". Retrieved June 7, 2020.
  24. ^ Yamamura, Kevin (September 9, 2011). "Assembly passes Jerry Brown's business tax changes". Sacramento Bee. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ "Nathan Fletcher Voting Record". Retrieved July 7, 2014. External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ "First-in-the-Nation Legislative Package Will Make Foreclosure Process Fairer, Hold Banks Accountable". Center for Responsible Lending. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ Kuhney, Jen (June 18, 2012). "Fletcher quietly worked to avert janitors strike". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved July 8, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ "Assemblyman Fletcher Enters San Diego Mayoral Race". Scripps TV Station Group. June 6, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ Orr, Katie; Trageser, Claire; Schoolov, Katie (March 28, 2017). "Nathan Fletcher Announces He's Leaving The Republican Party". KPBS Public Media. Retrieved March 5, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ "County of San Diego Presidential Primary Election, June 5, 2012" (PDF). San Diego County Registrar of Voters. Retrieved November 19, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ Gustafson, Craig (August 23, 2013). "Fletcher declares intent to run for mayor". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved November 3, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ Weisberg, Lori (October 29, 2013). "". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved November 3, 2013. External link in |title= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  33. ^ "San Diego mayor race: Alvarez, Faulconer expected to meet in runoff". ABC 10 News. November 19, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  34. ^ Morrison, Pat (April 28, 2012). "Nathan Fletcher, San Diego's renegade ex-Republican". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 7, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  35. ^ Skelton, George (April 2, 2012). "California GOP loses an up-and-comer in Nathan Fletcher – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 19, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  36. ^ Fletcher, Nathan. "Facebook Post on Joining Democratic Party". Social Media Essay. Retrieved May 4, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  37. ^ "Former assemblyman, San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher joining Democratic Party". ABC 10 News. May 4, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  38. ^ "San Diego County Board of Supervisors candidate Nathan Fletcher: The Union-Tribune interview". San Diego Union Tribune. April 6, 2018. Retrieved May 13, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  39. ^ Jennewein, Chris. Times of San Diego Missing or empty |title= (help)
  40. ^ "Endorsement: Nathan Fletcher for San Diego County supervisor". San Diego Union Tribune.
  41. ^ "San Diego County Board of Supervisors General Election Results". inewsource.
  42. ^ "About Nathan Fletcher". Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  43. ^ "About Nathan Fletcher". Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  44. ^ "Fletcher, Desmond sworn in as county supervisors". San Diego Union Tribune.
  45. ^ "Governor Newsom Announces Appointment to California Air Resources Board". GOV.CA.GOV.
  46. ^ Steussy, Lauren (November 15, 2012). "Fletcher's New Job: Qualcomm". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved November 19, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  47. ^
  48. ^ Fletcher, Nathan. "Our Modern-Day Crisis". San Diego Magazine. Retrieved February 15, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  49. ^ "Faculty/Staff Directory: Fletcher, Nathan". UCSD. Retrieved April 14, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  50. ^ Guardian, UCSD. "Nathan Fletcher Named First 'Professor of Practice' at UC San Diego". Retrieved January 24, 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  51. ^ "UCSD didn't get Fletcher transcript either". San Diego Union Tribune. November 16, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  52. ^ Organizing for Action
  53. ^ Public Policy Institute of California
  54. ^ Aspen Institute Advisory Board
  55. ^ Truman Project board of advisors
  56. ^ World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Human Rights
  57. ^ Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards
  58. ^ Cavanaugh, Maureen (March 13, 2013). "San Diego Leaders Tackle Immigration Reform". KPBS. Retrieved July 8, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  59. ^ "San Diegans United for Commonsense Immigration Reform". KPBS San Diego.
  60. ^ "Chamber turns on the charm". Sacramento Bee. February 12, 2006. p. D1.
  61. ^ Krueger, Paul (March 2, 2015). "Former State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher Files for Divorce". NBC San Diego. Retrieved March 6, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  62. ^ "2 Local Pols Confirm Romance Rumors". Retrieved September 28, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  63. ^
  64. ^
  65. ^ "Society SitRep". San Diego, CA: Marine Corps Recruit Depot Historical Society. July 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]