You have to know a little bit about Nathan Fletcher’s carefully constructed biography to recognize it. In there, among the Marine combat tour in Iraq, the small business experience and the two terms in the state Legislature reads this line: “District Director, 50th Congressional District.”
The job seems unremarkable, solid but bland experience for a young up-and-comer like Fletcher. The intrigue comes once you learn what Fletcher left out.
The name of the congressman representing the 50th district doesn’t appear on Fletcher’s resume. That’s because the congressman in question was Randy “Duke” Cunningham.
“The guy’s a felon,” Fletcher said. “I’m not going to do a big banner on it.”
This is what happens when you worked for the guy called the most corrupt congressman in American history. You try to elude it, but you can’t.
In just three years, the 35-year-old has gone from unknown freshman assemblyman to major contender for San Diego mayor. Fletcher’s natural political skills, celebrated military record and backing by San Diego powers like former Mayor Pete Wilson have boosted his ascent.
While Fletcher’s detractors often chide him for his inexperience, it’s his experience with Cunningham that has left the door open to questions. Though now more of a whisper than an overt attack on the campaign trail, Fletcher’s ties to Cunningham stand as one of the more likely hit pieces in the election.
Fletcher’s opponents likely won’t find much to link the two. Fletcher spent just more than two years on Cunningham’s payroll, heading up the former northern San Diego representative’s Escondido office. But for most of that time, Fletcher didn’t work there. Fletcher was on active duty in the Marines, VOSD on Facebook.