Sharon Runner

Republican candidate for state Senate Sharon Runner, middle, chats with supporters in 2011. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

By Patrick McGreevy
January 23, 2015

Former Republican state Sen. Sharon Runner of Lancaster, who rebounded after receiving a double lung transplant three years ago, was the only candidate to file papers by Friday’s deadline to run in a special election to fill a Senate seat vacated when Steve Knight was elected to Congress.

Runner, 60, is seeking to serve the remaining two years of the four-year term for the 21st Senate District seat representing parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. She previously served in the state Assembly and was elected to the Senate in 2011, but decided not to seek reelection so she could recover from the lung transplant, which was required because she suffered a rare autoimmune disease.

Asked about running unopposed, Runner said late Friday, “That’s the greatest news a candidate can hear. I never expected to be in that position.”

Several other potential candidates, including former Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, decided not to compete for the seat.

The March 17 special election will also include the 7th Senate District seat vacated when Mark DeSaulnier was elected to Congress.

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