SAN DIEGO -- Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, Monday became the latest candidate to enter the growing field to succeed Jerry Sanders as mayor.

"It's time to turn the page, time for a new vision, a new energy, time for a new generation of leaders not tied to the gridlock or problems of the past to step forward and lead,'' Fletcher said.

"I'm running for mayor because, despite the challenges we face, I see a bright future for our city, an amazing potential, and I want to lead us on that path,'' he said.

Fletcher is known most for his bill placing tougher guidelines on monitoring sex offenders, in the wake of the rape and killing of Poway High School senior Chelsea King.

The former Marine counter-intelligence official has been criticized for ushering a bill through the Legislature to lift a cap on funding for the Centre City Development Corp. -- the city's downtown redevelopment arm.

He is also known for his interest in education, embarking on a series of town halls on the topic with City Council President Tony Young.

"If the city can find time to talk about fireworks and harbor seals, then we can make time to talk about educating our children,'' Fletcher said.

He said he chose to make his campaign announcement at NuVasive Inc., a medical technology firm, because the region's economy needs to be based on innovation. He credited Sanders for his efforts to get the city's finances in order, and said he believed the current mayor will succeed in ending the structural budget deficit.

City Councilman Carl DeMaio began his campaign on Sunday. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, have also filed papers indicating their interest in the job.

Political observers also believe that Rep. Bob Filner will enter the race.