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He’s leaving politics for now but soon-to-be former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher says he’s committed to staying involved, with a new self-appointed title: “private citizen volunteer.”

We chatted with the onetime mayoral candidate after he put months of speculation about his future to rest with a Facebook post announcing he’s accepted a job as senior director of corporate development for Qualcomm Incorporated, the San Diego-based telecommunications giant.

Here’s what Fletcher had to say shortly after he shared the news.

Congratulations on the job but we have to ask: Why leave the public sector?

“I’ve always said a big part of my life is a commitment to service but you don’t have to be in elected office to have a positive impact. I’m very proud of what I did in the Marine Corps. I will look back fondly on my time in the Legislature but I’m really excited about the next phase of life. Qualcomm (is) a company whose innovations make people’s lives better. They’re helping transform the world and they provide amazing jobs for San Diegans.”

What attracted you to the Qualcomm job?

“I think it really embodies so much of what I talked about in the public aspects of my life, when we talk about the power of innovation to transform people’s lives. I also think they represent the jobs of the future. It’s a company whose values I share.”

Why not take a job with Mayor-Elect Bob Filner?

“I’ve always said I want the mayor to be successful. I’ve also consistently said I wasn’t looking to take a job in city government. I stand ready to help Mayor Filner in any way he needs.”

How might you be willing to help soon-to-be Mayor Filner?

“In any way he desires. That’s up to Bob. My commitment to San Diego and doing my part to make sure (Filner is) successful is strong.”

There have been lots of rumors about certain San Diego-area politicians being considered for a job leading the San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross. Were you in the running?

“I’m not going to comment on any of the positions that were open. I decided several weeks ago that Qualcomm is the best fit for what I want to do in the next phase of my life. I have great respect for the Red Cross … and will be supportive of whoever they select.”

Do you plan to run for office again?

“I don’t have any plans to. I’m really excited about the opportunity at Qualcomm and being involved in a few community projects that we’ll talk about in coming months, and spending time with my family.”

Lot of folks had wondered if you’d seek another office. Is that totally off the table?

“You don’t have to be in elected office to make a difference and make a positive impact. I do believe we have made a positive impact and made a difference in the time I’ve been in office. I believe I can make an equally positive impact in advancing the interests (of) Qualcomm and that’s where I’m fully committed.”

Can you tell us any more about the community projects?

“There’s a variety of things I have an interest in as a private citizen volunteering to help out. Some things related to veterans and education, but they’ll all be as a private citizen volunteer.”

Anything you’d like to pass along to constituents and folks who followed your mayoral campaign?

“It’s been a tremendous honor to serve in the Legislature and a tremendous honor to be a candidate for mayor. I’ll always look back fondly at the time I spent. I will tell my constituents I gave it 100 percent every day to make their lives better and I appreciate their support and encouragement.”

Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at lisa.halverstadt@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0528.

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Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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