On December 27, 2017, former District 54 Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley Thomas shocked constituents by announcing he would resign from his position effective immediately due to an undisclosed illness.
“When I resume public life, I intend to remain active in civic affairs, where my passion lies,” he said in the statement released by his office.
A special election to fill the vacancy will be held on April 3, 2018. Here’s a look at the candidates running for the 54th District seat.
Sydney Kamlager (D) – As current President of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees, Kamlager’s top priorities include advocating for access to opportunities in higher education and job training. She is endorsed by the California Legislative Black Caucus.
Tepring Michelle Piquado (D) – As a neuroscientist and policy researcher, Dr. Piquado aims to be a leader in the areas of mental health, healthy aging, and issues affecting the health and well-being of first responders. In 2016, she was honored as one of the “Top 50 Alum” of UC Irvine in the last 50 years.
Mike Schaefer (D)- A successful businessman and two-term San Diego councilman, Schaefer was a Los Angeles city council candidate in District 7 and later in District 4. He was defeated both times.
Glen Ratcliff (R ) – A district-level delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention from California, Ratcliff ran unsuccessfully against Ridley-Thomas for the 54th State Assembly seat in the General Election in Nov. 2016. If elected, he has vowed to block any legislative action that would reduce felonies to misdemeanors, allow felons early release or grant them the right to vote.
The 54th Assembly District includes the west Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westwood, Culver City, Crenshaw and Baldwin Hills.