WESTWOOD—Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, who represents Westwood, Culver City, Crenshaw, Baldwin Heights and more, unexpectedly resigned on Wednesday, December 27.
Ridley-Thomas, 30, cited health reasons, writing that “the reason for this difficult decision is that I am facing persistent health issues. 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 wrote that he would be leaving office on Sunday, December 31.
“When I resume public life, I intend to remain active in civic affairs, where my passion lies,” said Ridley-Thomas in a separate statement released by his office. “Following recuperation, I will return to the work of political empowerment, millennial civic engagement and inspiring the next generation of leaders.”
His health plagued him earlier this year when he took two weeks off.
Mark Ridley-Thomas, Sebastian’s father and current Los Angeles County Supervisor indicated in a statement with his wife that they knew of their son’s “struggle with health challenges” and fully supported his decision [to leave office].
Ridley-Thomas, a Democrat, has supported a number of important bills including AB 1299, that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 1299 improved delivery for mental health services to foster home children.
The assemblyman also wrote a law protecting specific single-gender schools. The law was signed and became official in October 2017.
Ridley-Thomas has represented the 54th District since 2013 when he won a special election for the seat. He was later re-elected for his seat in 2014 and again in 2016. Before earning the state assembly seat, he worked as an aide to Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price.
The assemblyman is the fourth Southern California assembly member to leave office this year, joining representative Jimmy Gomez and assemblymen Raul Bocanegra and Matt Dababneh. Bocanegra and Dababneh two resigned after allegations of sexual harassment.
A special election will be held to replace Sebastian Ridley-Thomas in 2018.