“Ralph Waldo Emerson had a famous saying, ‘Life is a journey, not a destination.’” – Nathan Fletcher on Facebook.

MARCH 2012: San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher left the Republican party, declaring that he felt more at home as an independent. The change was gradual, coming nearly three weeks after he sought a GOP political endorsement by bragging that he had voted against welfare. “That’s why today I’m leaving partisan politics,” he said. “I’m leaving an environment that thrives on playing the game. I’m leaving behind a system that is completely dysfunctional. I’m embracing an independence to focus solely on solutions on working with people if their ideas are good and focus solely on advancing the interest of our city, not a political party.”

MAY 2013. Nathan Fletcher, having been an independent for what seemed like a lifetime of 14 months, announced that he was becoming a Democrat. “Time and distance have a remarkable way of providing clarity and perspective,” he wrote on Facebook. “The last year has provided me a lot of time to reflect and I wanted to share with you a change I recenty made. I joined the Democratic Party.” He said he made the decision because of a conversation with a Marine buddy with whom he’d served in Iraq, and he also said he has no plans to run for office.

JANUARY 2014. Days after the election of Kevin Faulconer as mayor of San Diego, defeated candidate Nathan Fletcher announced that he was retiring from politics. “After having time to reflect upon it and talk to my boss at Qualcomm, I’m convinced that my future lies elsewhere,” he said.

FEBRUARY 2014. Nathan Fletcher, who only last month had retired from politics, announced he had relocated to Tijuana, would pursue Mexican citizenship, and would run for mayor of the Mexican city. “I don’t see this as leaving behind America, which I was honored to serve, so much as it is continuing my course of seeking to serve the people of the San Diego-Tijuana region,” he said. “I’ve crossed borders before – on my way to Iraq, of political parties, of ideological coherence. I feel the time is right for me to cross this Rubicon.”

JULY 2014. Tijuana mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher announces he has joined the National Action Party, or PAN. “I’ve been reflecting on my values, and conversations with the people of Tijuana have convinced me that I have a home in PAN.”

SEPTEMBER 2014. Fletcher declares he is leaving the PAN for the PRI party. Asked whether his switch was a cynical effort to improve his electoral standing, he says, “It was something that had been building up in me for some time.”

MARCH 2019. In the wake of his second consecutive defeat in his run for mayor of Tijuana, Nathan Fletcher announced via Twitter Plus that he was leaving Mexican politics and returning to the United States. “After careful reflection, I realize that, while I love and appreciate Mexico, it’s no longer the right Mexican fit for me.” Instead, Fletcher said, he would relocate to New Mexico and teach yoga to veterans.

MARCH 2020. Former San Diego and Tijuana mayoral wannabe Nathan Fletcher has emerged as the new CEO of California’s largest medical marijuana collaborative. “The peyote in New Mexico never really agreed with me,” he said by phone from his new home in Mendocino County. “But it made me reassess my values, and realize that a less hazardous drug with medicinal properties could help many people on their journey through life.” He also noted that, since the collaborative is a division of Qualcomm, the job would “be like a homecoming.”

DECEMBER 2020. Nathan Fletcher resigned as chief of the state’s largest medical marijuana collaborative, saying that he worried about the impact of even legal mind-altering drugs. “I’m leaving behind a business that is dysfunctional, and is full of some pretty scary, shadowy investors,” he said. “I didn’t want to play that game.” He announced that he had taken a vows of poverty and would become a priest, ministering to the drug-addicted poor in Bangladesh.

MARCH 2021. Former San Diego and Tijuana mayoral candidate announced that he had left priesthood and converted to Islam. “With all the time I had waiting around the rain here, I found clarity, and that clarity brought the perspective that Catholicism is played,” Fletcher said in a message delivered by homing pigeon to the Associated Press bureau in Dhaka. “I was reluctant to make the move, because I was worried about the criticism I might face. But Islam is the southeast Asia’s fastest growing religion, and thus represents a better future for humanity.”

NOVEMBER 2024. As expected, Nathan Fletcher was elected mayor of San Diego, an office he had first sought more than a decade earlier. “I’ve grown up and matured from my life journey,” he said. A decade ago, Fletcher’s status as the city’s first former pot-growing, yogi-teaching, Muslim mayor would have drawn public notice. But, given how much the politics of San Diego and California had changed over time, Fletcher, in his return to San Diego politics, had to run as a Republican.