K. Mennem 7:18 a.m., May 22
Nathan Fletcher Buys Flurry of Local TV Ads
When looking at Nathan Fletcher's run for mayor, one has to wonder if this was all part of a master plan.
One week, polls showed him at the back of the pack, with a slim chance of making it through the June 5 primary. The next week, Fletcher announced that he was abandoning the Republican party and registering as an independent. He quickly became one of the top stories in the local and national media: New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote a glowing portrayal of him, and he appeared on MSNBC and CNN, retelling his reasons for jumping ship on the GOP.
"In so many ways what you see in today's political world is an environment that isn't focused on solving problems, it's how do you preserve them to campaign on them. Politics have devolved to a point that I feel like is just a game," Fletcher told guest-host Michael Smerconish in an April 2 interview on MSNBC's Hardball.
And now, just under two weeks since his appearance, a new SurveyUSA poll paid for by 10News shows Fletcher has moved from second-to-last to second place in polls, only a few points behind city councilmember Carl DeMaio.
Whether his decision to leave the GOP was just a strategic move — as some of his critics have claimed — is merely speculation. What isn't, however, is the strategy that Fletcher and his campaign has employed after the announcement.
In all, according to public files we obtained, Fletcher's campaign spent $110,676.75 on television ads from April 2 through April 15. Out of the four major candidates, Fletcher was the only one to purchase time on any of the major networks in town.
This round of ads will cease running on April 15.