Assembly member Devon Mathis won’t seek final term

Assembly member Devon Mathis, who has represented Tulare County in Sacramento for almost ten years, has decided to retire.

According to term limits, Mathis was eligible to run for one more term ending in 2026, but made an announcement today stating this would be his last term in the California Assembly.

Mathis came out of nowhere in 2014 to beat now Woodlake Mayor Rudy Mendoza who was former Congress member Devin Nunes’ chief of staff. Mendoza had name recognition and was endorsed by the Republican establishment, but lost to Mathis in a surprise upset.

Though Mathis faced some formidable challengers, and beat down unsubstantiated accusation of sexual assault during the Me Too movement, he won his last five races convincingly.

Angel Ruiz, a first-generation immigrant and advocate for civil and labor rights, is running for Assembly District 33 in 2024. He responded to Mathis’ retirement saying,

“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.” – Angel Ruiz, Candidate for Assembly District 33.”

Mathis’ retirement leaves an open seat in the 33rd district that covers Kings and Tulare Counties and a sliver of Fresno

Devon Mathis and his team on Election Night 2014 at the Visalia Veteran’s Memorial Hall posing after his victory was confirmed


According to the Tulare County Registrar of Voters prospective candidates have until December 16 to file. Filing for the 33 Assembly District will be extended from December 8 to the 13 because the incumbent is not running.

In a statement posted on his Facebook Mathis said it had been an honor to serve the Valley and that he looks forward to continuing to serve in a different capacity.

“Despite my time in the Legislature coming to a close, my involvement with public service will continue,” said Mathis. “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.”

The following is Mathis’ statement in full:

“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. After serving 12 years in the Army National Guard, where I was wounded by an IED in Iraq, I knew that I still wanted to give back to the community that has given me so much. This led me to run for public office, where I was able to win a seat in the Assembly despite having all the odds stacked against a guy like me. 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 my constituents and discussing their concerns. I’ve also been able to serve in Assembly Republican Leadership as Caucus Whip and then as Chair of Caucus Operations. As the Assemblyman of a very overlooked area, I have spent my tenure working to get the much-needed resources to people, families, and communities I represent. I’ve prided myself on doing the work for the people to put “People Over Politics” and have worked behind the scenes on every major deal that’s been through the legislature. I will never forget late nights working with Gov. Jerry Brown and other Leaders to meet key Legislative deadlines. 

I’ve had the honor of being recognized for my work by many organizations and associations. The California Farm Bureau awarded me the “Friend of the Farm Bureau” award for my tireless advocacy on behalf of rural communities. For my work in expanding water access to all Californians, I received the “Small Water Systems Champion” award from CalMutuals. I was also honored to receive the “Legislative Champion” award from Arc/UCP Collaboration for my word on behalf of the IDD community. Finally, on an issue that is very close to my heart, I was touched to be recognized as “Legislator of the Year” by the California State Commanders Veterans Council for my efforts to ensure that our Veterans get the support that they deserve.

Since 2014 I have had the opportunity to sit on many Assembly Committees that deal with pressing issues that impact our state. On top of being the Vice Chair of the Agriculture and Water, Parks & Wildlife Committees, I’ve also had the privilege of sitting on the Committees for Appropriations, Utilities & Energy, Military & Veterans Affairs, Natural Resources, Governmental Organization, Environmental & Toxic Safety, Health & Human Services, and Aging & 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. Some of the major legislation I’ve passed in the last 9 years include bills that increase CEQA exemptions for development (AB 356), ensure the 988 Suicide Hotline can better address Veterans’ suicides (AB 988), improve the processing of water project applications (AB 682), protect Native American control over their lands (AB 1180), prosecute the impersonation of a public safety officer (AB 1899) and expand STEM opportunities for underrepresented students (AB 1923).

As I retire 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.”

2 thoughts on “Assembly member Devon Mathis won’t seek final term

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  1. Angel Ruiz’s campaign resonates powerfully in my community, where a significant number of our residents are young Latino immigrants and their children, a group he proudly represents and understands.

  2. The problem here is that he wants to be a state legislator, which means he must answer to *all* of the people in his district and not just his particular racial group. I see no evidence that he is willing to take that leap.

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