One candidate has announced he will seek to represent District 33 in the State Assembly while the incumbent has announced he will retire.
Democrat Angel Ruiz of Tulare announced his candidacy in District 33, which includes Porterville, on Tuesday. Meanwhile incumbent Republican State Assemblyman Devon Mathis of Porterville has announced he won’t seek re-election.
Under the state’s term limit law, Mathis could have run for one more term to represent the district for another two years. But on Monday he announced his retirement, stating he will complete his 10-year run as a State Assemblyman after the 2024 general election in November.
Ruiz describes himself as a dedicated advocate for civil and labor rights and “is set to bring a wave of innovative change and effective solutions to the district,” his campaign stated.
Ruiz is a first-generation immigrant. His campaign stated he’s “driven by his experiences and commitment to serving the community. His campaign focuses on addressing essential issues such as enhancing healthcare access in both rural and urban areas of the district, improving educational systems, and strengthening labor rights to protect workers across all sectors.”
His campaign state a key aspect of his campaign is to ensure every resident in the district has access to internet service. “This initiative aligns with his vision of modernizing infrastructure and enhancing public services for the community.”
His campaign added Ruiz is committed to supporting sustainable environmental policies and bolstering agriculture.
“Assembly District 33 deserves a representative who not only understands its challenges but is also ready to bring innovative and tangible solutions,” Ruiz said. “Our campaign is about more than just addressing issues; it’s about building a thriving community where every resident’s voice is heard and valued.”
The campaign stated it has received endorsements from notable organizations and community leaders. “These endorsements reflect Ruiz’s alignment with the values and needs of Assembly District 33’s constituents,” his campaign stated.
For more information about Ruiz visit angelruizad33.com.
“The Campaign to Elect Angel Ruiz for Assembly District 33 is poised to make a significant impact, promising to bring fresh perspectives and proactive leadership to the district,” the campaign stated.
“It has been an honor to have been able to represent the Central Valley in the State Assembly for what will be a decade next year,” Mathis posted on his Facebook page. “While my tenure in the Legislature is coming to a close, my commitment to public service won’t. I look forward to working with District Stakeholders on projects that will help the Valley. Thank you to everyone for your support.”
In his statement announcing his retirement Mathis said, “Out of all of the decisions I’ve had to make since joining the Assembly, my decision to retire is probably the hardest one. Even as a kid, I knew that I wanted to engage in public service but was unsure about how exactly to do so.”
Mathis served for 12 years in the Army National Guard and was wounded by an IED in Iraq. He said that experience led him to run for public office.
“For almost a decade I have had the distinct honor of serving the Central Valley as the Assemblyman for the 26th District and then for the 33rd District. During this time I have had the privilege of meeting many of mu constituents and discussing their concerns.”
Mathis also served as the Republican Caucus Whip and as the Republican Caucus Operations Chair. “As the Assesmblyman of a very overlooked area I have spent my tenure working to get the much needed resources to people, families and communities I represent.”
Mathis said he has always tried to live up to his motto of “People Over Politics” in serving. “I will never forget late nights working with Governor Jerry Brown and other leaders to meet key Legislative deadlines.”
Mathis has been recognized as Friend of the Farm Bureau by the California Farm Bureau; Small Water Systems Champion by CalMutuals; Legislative Champion from Arc/UCP Collaboration; and Legislator of the Year by the California State Commanders Veterans Council.
In the Assembly, Mathis has served as vice chair of the Agriculture and Water and Parks and Wildlife Committees and served on the Committees for Appropriations, Utilities and Energy, Military and Veterans Affairs, Natural Resources, Governmental Organizations, Environmental and Toxic Safety, Health and Human Services and Aging and Longterm Care.
“While serving on these committees I’ve worked with stakeholders and members of both parties on how best to move our state forward.
Bills Mathis has authored that have passed during his tenure include increasing CEQA exemptions for development; ensuring the 988 Suicide Hotline can better serve veterans; improving the process of water project applications; protecting Native American control over their land; prosecuting public safety officer impersonators; and expanding STEM instruction for underrepresented students.
“As I retired from the Assembly I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family, who have always been supportive of me. Despite my time in the Legislature coming to a close, my involvement with public service will continue. Once my term ends, I look forward to working with district stakeholders on projects that will benefit the Valley. I will release more information as time progresses.
“I want to thank the people of the Valley for continuously placing their trust and support in me over my tenure. I also want to thank everyone who worked with me and my team over these years. The Valley is a better place because of your hard work and dedication. It has been the honor of a lifetime to have been able to serve you all these years. I look forward to continuing to serve the Valley and our communities in a different capacity in the years to come.”
Ruiz also addressed Mathis’ retirement, stating “As the incumbent of Assembly District 33 announces his final term, I wish to acknowledge Assembly Member Devon Mathis for his years of service. This marks a pivotal moment for our district, opening a pathway for fresh perspectives and renewed energy. My commitment is to build upon the foundations laid, bringing forward-focused solutions and inclusive representation to the forefront.
“It’s a time for positive change, where the voices of all constituents in AD33 can be heard and their needs effectively addressed, particularly in critical areas like healthcare access and education. I am dedicated to ushering in an era of progress and unity, ensuring that our district’s future is bright and promising.”