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Fletcher won't seek 3rd stint as supes chair, endorses Vargas as successor

Nathan Fletcher.jpg
Matthew Bowler
/
KPBS
San Diego County Board Supervisor Nathan Fletcher hosted a press conference today calling on county leaders to give their approval allowing county lawyers to look into suing gun manufacturers when their guns are used in mass shootings, San Diego, June 13, 2022.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher said Tuesday he will not seek a third one-year stint as leader of the county's governing body, and publicly endorsed Vice Chairwoman Nora Vargas to succeed him in 2023.

During Tuesday's regular meeting, Fletcher, who has presided over the board since 2021, also mentioned he would like to nominate Vargas for the top job himself when the panel reorganizes on Jan. 10.

Fletcher, who was re-elected to a second term as District 4 supervisor last month, will remain on the five-member board, though he recently said he is considering a run for state Senate.

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Vargas, Fletcher said, "would be an amazing leader because she's smart, driven and holds an unmatched level of care and compassion for our community."

"Her leadership of this board would be monumental for so many reasons, including the fact she would be the first Latina ever to hold the title," he said. "I look forward to the work that is ahead of us, and I am excited about the possibility of doing it with Nora Vargas as the chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors."

Fletcher and Vargas are both Democrats, though the board is officially nonpartisan.

Vargas, who was first elected to represent District 1 in 2020, said in a statement that she was "humbled and grateful" that Fletcher would support her.

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"It has been my privilege to work alongside him as vice chair these last two years," Vargas said.

She credited Fletcher for his "unwavering leadership during very challenging times, and together we've put equity at the forefront of every decision countywide."

"I will gladly accept the nomination and look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure all San Diegans have a better quality of life," Vargas added. "I will continue to do everything in my power to make sure that this county works for all, not just some."

The board is also comprised of Democrat Terra Lawson-Remer and two Republicans, Joel Anderson and Jim Desmond.