Well, this ought to shake things up a bit in the mayoral race.

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher announced today he’s quitting the Republican Party and going independent.

Here’s his announcement:

A few quick observations:

• Fletcher’s been seen as a rising star in the statewide Republican Party. But he never completely fit the GOP mold. He’s liberal on social issues and has prided himself on his consensus building. The local GOP has been headed in the opposite direction.

• So while this isn’t shocking from a values standpoint, it’s important to put it in context: this comes just weeks after he pushed hard to out-conservative Carl DeMaio and block his endorsement by the GOP. And it comes on the heels of a U-T San Diego poll showing him lagging far behind DeMaio and Democrat Bob Filner.

• I’ve heard a few people say: I like Nathan Fletcher, but I could never vote for a Republican. That might change now.

Fletcher’s having a press conference at 10 a.m. to discuss the move. Check back for more later.

I’m the editor of VOSD. You can reach me at andrew.donohue@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0526.

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