Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas announced Wednesday December 27 he is resigning, effective in four days, for unspecified health reasons.
“While it has been a great honor to serve as a member of the California State Assembly for the past four years, I have decided to resign from my post effective December 31, 2017. The reason for this difficult decision is that I am facing persistent health issues,” the 30-year-old Democrat said in a statement posted to his website. “On December 18th, I underwent surgery for the fifth time this year. Although I expect a full recovery, my physicians advise that I will need an extended period of time to recuperate.”
Ridley-Thomas, the son of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley- Thomas, represents the 54th Assembly District, which includes Westwood, Culver City, Crenshaw and Baldwin Hills. He was elected to the seat in 2013 after previously working for the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C., and serving as public policy director of the Senate Fellowship Program.
His father released a statement, saying their “family is dedicated to public service, and Avis and I are extremely proud of how our son, Sebastian, has represented California’s 54th State Assembly District and served as a role model for the greater African American community and his generation. Yet we, more than anyone, have seen him struggle with health challenges this year, and we fully support his decision to step down from the state Legislature so that he can recuperate with complete rest, in accordance with his doctor’s orders.”
A special election will be held next year to fill Ridley-Thomas’ seat. No date has been set.
Two other Los Angeles-area assemblymen — Democrats Raul Bocanegra of Pacoima and Matt Dababneh of Woodland Hills — recently gave up their seats after allegations of sexual misconduct that both men have denied. The election for Bocanegra’s seat will be held on April 3, with a potential runoff on June 5. A special election date has not yet been set to fill Dababneh’s seat.