Eric Rigard, who was the only Republican candidate in the State Assembly’s District 10 primary election, died on June 21 at age 65.
The announcement of Rigard’s death was made through a Facebook post of his wife, Jacqueline, who referred to her husband as her best friend and lover, and a family man and political activist. The publication made no reference to a cause of death.
As of June 24, Rigard was running for third place in a contested election for the District 10 seat in the Assembly. That district includes Elk Grove and parts of southern Sacramento.
After garnering 27.2% of the vote, Rigard outperformed two Democratic candidates, Stephanie Nguyen, who holds 29.9% of the vote, and Eric Guerra, who holds 29.4% of the vote.
Both Nguyen and Guerra responded to the news of Rigard’s death through their Twitter accounts.
Nguyen, who is currently a member of Elk Grove City Council, wrote on June 23 that he was sad to learn of Rigard’s death.
“Today I received (a) sad news that Eric Rigard, a candidate for District 10 of the Assembly, has died suddenly,” he wrote. “Although we disagree on many issues and do not share the same political ideology, I am very sad for his passing.
“Eric Rigard was a strong member of the community and was doing everything he could to make our community a better place to live. I send my deepest condolences to his family and friends for this difficult time. May he rest in peace.”
Guerra, who serves as a member of Sacramento City Council, wrote that he had a “heavy heart” after learning of Rigard’s death.
“He was a compassionate man who was dedicated to his community and his faith,” he wrote. “I have had nothing but the utmost respect for his dedication and service. His passing is a loss to all of us.
“My deepest condolences to your family and friends. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers.”
The Sacramento County Republican Party also issued a statement on Rigard’s death.
“We are very saddened to announce that Eric Rigard has passed away,” the statement said. “He was a wonderful man who loved his community, his family and his county.
“Plans are underway to honor him in the Senate and State Assembly as they rise in his honor. RIP Eric.”
Members of the Rigard Assembly campaign could not be reached for comment, as of the time of publication.
In addition to running in Assembly 10 of the Assembly, Rigard ran to represent District 9 of the Assembly in 2020. He was the runner-up to current Assembly member Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove.
Through the approval in 2021 of the boundaries of the redesigned State Assembly district, Elk Grove will be included in District 10 instead of its current District 9.
Rigard was a minister at the Cavalry Christian Center for more than 36 years before entering state politics and running for the Assembly in 2020.
In an interview with Citizen last September, Rigard shared his focus on his most recent campaign.
“I have a heart for people and I think morally my compass is marked,” he said. “I am following the teaching and training I receive through the ministry in which I have been involved through the Calvary Christian Center.”
Rigard Memorial Services will be held at the Calvary Christian Center, 2667 Del Paso Blvd., in Sacramento on August 3 at 11 a.m.
Election ’22: Local Assembly candidate Eric Rigard dies at 65 | News Source link Election ’22: Local Assembly candidate Eric Rigard dies at 65 | News