Runner steps down while battling illness
February 22, 2012 5:07 PM
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Natasha Lindstrom, Staff Writer

Hours after state Sen. Sharon Runner announced Wednesday she won’t be seeking re-election, Assemblyman Steve Knight declared his bid to replace her in the Senate.

Runner, R-Lancaster, is leaving her political post amid a battle against limited scleroderma, an autoimmune condition that affects the body’s connective tissue. The 57-year-old had announced in January she was back on the lung transplant list and would be working away from the office indefinitely to stay healthy for surgery.

Runner said in a statement that she expects to make a full recovery and plans to focus on “business and philanthropic efforts” after finishing her term in November.

“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 was elected to the Senate in a 2011 special election after serving six years in the Assembly. She co-authored California’s Jessica’s Law, which prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks.

She filled the Senate seat left vacant by her husband, George Runner, when he ran for the Board of Equalization.

Both she and her husband encouraged Knight to run for her seat.

Knight, R-Palmdale, was elected to the 36th Assembly District in 2008 to represent communities in the Antelope and Victor valleys. He was a vice-chair of the Assembly Public Safety and Natural Resources committees.

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