Possible replacements include Sharon Runner, Steve Knight
November 05, 2010 8:41 AM
Natasha Lindstrom

SACRAMENTO • Sen. George Runner’s winning bid on the state Board of Equalization has set the stage for a local special election this spring to decide who will serve the remaining two years of his legislative term.

Nobody has officially jumped into the race, but likely candidates include former Assemblywoman Sharon Runner — Runner’s wife — and Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale.

“My name’s in the hopper, and I want it to be in the hopper, but I also want to support a person who will win this seat and who we can get behind. The discussions are just starting…. but obviously I am the sitting assemblyman in the biggest portion of the 17th Senate district,” Knight said by phone Thursday. “My focus is we need a good, strongleader, we want a leader from the High Desert, and we want to keep it in the Republicans’ hands.”

The 17th Senate District includes the majority of the Victor Valley and Antelope Valley, along with portions of Ventura County and Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys.

Sharon Runner said in a statement that she cannot legally announce whether she plans to run for her husband’s vacant seat until Dec. 31 — when she finishes her term as an appointed member of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

George Runner plans to resign from his legislative post when he is sworn in to the Board of Equalization on Jan. 3, he said.

The governor must then call for a special election, which will likely happen in late spring. The primary election should only be followed by a general election if one candidate can’t secure more than 50 percent of the vote, George Runner said.

To read more about George Runner, see the full story in Friday’s Daily Press. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.