Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press file, 2012

Nathan Fletcher, seen when he was a Republican assemblyman, left the GOP to be an independent. He switched again.

The Buzz: Nathan Fletcher changes mind again; now he's a Democrat

Published: Tuesday, May. 7, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Ex-legislator jumps ship – Fletcher joins Democrats

Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, who was considered one of the GOP's likeliest future contenders for statewide office before abandoning the party to become an independent last year, has become a Democrat.

Fletcher, 36, announced his change of registration Saturday on his Facebook page, in a message he said he also sent donors and supporters.

"I was reluctant to make this move," Fletcher wrote. "It wasn't due to any doubt about where I belong. It was simple dread over the criticism I would face."

Fletcher left the Republican Party during his failed campaign for San Diego mayor. He went to work for one of his district's largest employers, Qualcomm, when he left the Assembly in December. It is unclear what ambition he may have within the Democratic Party.

Fletcher said in his Facebook post that the Democratic Party "reflects my values and beliefs." He said he watched President Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention last year three times, "trying to find something I disagreed with."

"I couldn't," Fletcher wrote. "It was clear – at least to me – that I was a Democrat."

ELECTION WATCH

Voters in Southern California's 32nd Senate District head to the polls next Tuesday to pick a successor for former Democratic Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod, who left midterm to take a seat in Congress. Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Pomona, and Republican Paul Leon, the mayor of Ontario, are vying for the seat in a Democratic-leaning district.

WORTH REPEATING

"I believe what's going to ensure our future is freedom-loving people who want to work … for a better life. When I see immigrants, that's what I see."

ASSEMBLYMAN ROCKY CHÁVEZ, Oceanside Republican, one of nine GOP lawmakers to support Assembly Joint Resolution 3 urging Congress to enact a "humane and just" overhaul of federal immigration law. It passed 61-1, with 15 other Republicans not voting.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from online and print versions to correct the date of the state Senate special election to Tuesday May 14. Corrected 11 a.m. May 8, 2013.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.



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