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Gov. Brown Weighs In On San Diego Mayoral Race

— Gov. Jerry Brown is speaking up for Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher. The Democratic governor has issued a statement his political adviser calls an observation of working with Fletcher for a year.

Aired 5/30/12 on KPBS News.

California’s Democratic governor is weighing in on the San Diego Mayor’s race, but you may be surprised about which candidate he’s talking about.

It is not a formal endorsement. The statement reads:

"Nathan Fletcher stands out from the pack especially when he voted to close a big tax loophole that rewards companies that ship jobs out of California. In the face of partisan pressures, he maintains his independence and calls it like he sees it."

Fletcher made news last spring when he left the Republican Party to run for mayor as an independent candidate. Polls show him and Congressman Bob Filner - the lone democrat in the race- in a close battle for the second runoff spot in next week’s mayoral primary.

Democratic Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom has endorsed Filner for mayor.

If no candidate wins a majority of the votes in Tuesday's primary, the top two vote-getters will move on to the November runoff. Republican City Councilman Carl DeMaio leads in the polls.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 30, 2012 at 3:05 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

So the Democrat Governor is endorsing (in a back-handed way) Fletcher. That certainly raises a red flag. Here are the possible reasons:

1. He thinks Fletcher is the easiest person for Filner to defeat
2. He thinks Filner will not even make the runoff so his #2 is Fletcher
3. Fletcher is far more of a Sacramento insider than we all thought

But then Newsom endorsed Filner? I'm surprised even a greased palm democrat like Filner would accept an endorsement from that lunatic. The slim chance he had of winning has now evaporated.

With Fletcher unable to convince anyone that he is a true independent, it looks like DeMaio will be our next mayor.

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Avatar for user 'AVoiceOfReason'

AVoiceOfReason | May 30, 2012 at 9:09 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, CaliforniaDefender certainly has an interesting perspective, though it appears to be based upon bias more than fact. The facts:

1. There is no chance of a Fletcher/Filner race in November. The only issue is who will be opposing DeMaio in November: Fletcher or Filner. You can tell who DeMaio would prefer to face. I am getting two mailers a day from DeMaio attacking Fletcher and the TV is full of DeMaio ads attacking Fletcher. Why is DeMaio spending hundreds of thousands of dollars attacking Fletcher in the primary when DeMaio is a shoe-in to get one of the two spots in the November runoff election. Only one possible reason: DeMaio thinks that Fletcher will beat him in November, so he is taking his best shot to knock Fletcher off right now. The election on June 5 is really about whether DeMaio or Fletcher will be the next Mayor of San Diego.

2. The fact that Fletcher receives endorsements from people across the political spectrum should be a positive, not a negative. I am impressed with a guy who is endoresed by Pete Wilson and Mitt Romney on one hand and Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom on the other. To me that is someone who can work with everybody. Wow, wouldn't that be a nice change?

3. Regardless of his motivation for leaving the Republican party, the almost universal conclusion of political observes is that the move torpedoed any chance Fletcher had for state-wide office. I'm not sure I agree with that, but Fletcher is certainly not a Sacramento insider, at least not after he became an independent.

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Avatar for user 'laplayaheritage'

laplayaheritage | May 31, 2012 at 12:13 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

Nathan Fletcher is too risky. We do not need another Duke Cunningham. Safe Passage Systems CEO is a conflict-of-interest.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | May 31, 2012 at 12:39 p.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago


1. DeMaio would rather face Filner simply because of left-right polarization. If he faces Filner, it will be a battle over moderates which DeMaio will win. If DeMaio faces Fletcher, you have two conservatives which will make the race about splitting hairs rather than big clear issues.

2. Fletcher has ZERO independent cred from his 2 month old spat with the Republican Party. Had he left the Party far before endorsements were being handed out I would give him an enormous amount of credibility and respect, but he didn't.

3. Perhaps he did hurt himself for state-wide office, but nothing his wife can't fix. Did you know she was the Bush-Cheney National Press Secretary during the 2000 election, the Republican Party spokesperson for the 2000 Florida vote recount, the RNC Communications Director from '03-'04, and Schwarzenegger's deputy chief of staff? Their roots are VERY DEEP in the Republican Party.

Don't be fooled.

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