State legislators back Fletcher for mayor

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fletcherSAN DIEGO — A group of current and former state legislators threw their support Tuesday behind onetime Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher’s San Diego mayoral bid.

The endorsements came hours after a poll was released showing Fletcher in the lead ahead of the Nov. 19 special election.

Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, represented the coalition of 18 Democrats supporting Fletcher’s candidacy.

“As his former Assembly colleague, I saw how Nathan had the ability to bring Democrats and Republicans together to get bills that were important to San Diegans passed through the legislature,” said Hueso, whose district covers southern San Diego. “I’m confident Nathan has what it takes to get our neighborhood services working for the people and to bring more good jobs to the region.”

Sen. Marty Block, D-Lemon Grove, and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D- San Diego, also are backing Fletcher, who left the Republican Party during last year’s mayoral campaign to become an independent. He subsequently re-registered as a Democrat.

Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, and Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, are also part of the coalition.

Fletcher, who has also gathered the support of several unions, was supported by 30 percent of 527 registered voters contacted by phone in the poll for U-T San Diego and 10News.

The survey, conducted Thursday through Monday, showed Councilman Kevin Faulconer with 22 percent, Councilman David Alvarez with 17 percent, former City Attorney Mike Aguirre with 9 percent and Bruce Coons, executive director of the preservationist group Save Our Heritage Organisation, with 2 percent.

The poll by SurveyUSA found 4 percent supporting other candidates, among 19 people hoping to qualify for the ballot, and 15 percent undecided.

Fletcher also “won” theoretical match-ups against Faulconer and Alvarez.

If no one gets a majority of the votes in the November election, a runoff between the top two vote-getters would be held early next year. The winner will replace Bob Filner, who resigned Aug. 30 amid a scandal over allegations of sexual harassment, misuse of a city-issued credit card and shakedowns of developers.

Respondents to the poll rated integrity, 30 percent, and leadership, 26 percent, as the most desirable traits for a mayoral candidate. Faulconer received the most support among those wanting integrity, while those preferring leadership opted for Fletcher.

On Wednesday, the county Registrar of Voters office is expected to announce which of the 19 candidates collected enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

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