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Fighting illness, Sen. Sharon Runner will not seek reelection

February 22, 2012 | 11:27 am

Sharon Runner
A month after announcing health problems that put her on a waiting list for a lung transplant, state Sen. Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) said Wednesday she will not run for reelection this year.

Runner, 57, began working from home last month because of complications from limited scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that damages healthy tissue.

“Serving the people of our community over my lifetime has been an amazing blessing and I am so very thankful for their support throughout each of my elections and my tenure in office,” Runner said in a statement. “In the coming years, I will be working on behalf of the community that I love, but not in the role as an elected official.”

Runner had won a special election last year to fill a vacancy in the Senate caused when her husband, George Runner, won election to the state Board of Equalization. She had previously served in the state Assembly, where in 2008 she first announced she had been diagnosed with the autoimmune condition.

The senator’s prognosis is excellent and she is expected to make a full recovery that would allow her to finish her term in the Legislature this year, according to Matt Rexroad, a campaign spokesman.

Under redistricting, Runner would have been seeking reelection in the new 21st Senate District. Sharon and George Runner said they are encouraging Assemblyman Stephen Knight (R-Palmdale) to run for office in that district. Knight has already taken out papers to begin raising money for the 21st Senate District race, where Republicans have a small edge in voter registration.


Legislator has rare disease

Sen. Sharon Runner back on lung transplant list

Sharon Runner pulls ahead in election for senate seat

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: Sen. Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster), shown last year during the election campaign, is battling an illness and will not seek reelection. Credit: Gina Ferazzi/ Los Angeles Times