HIGH DESERT – Former Assembly Member and state Senator Sharon Runner is considering a run for the state Senate District 21 seat soon to be vacated by Steve Knight. In a news release issued Monday, Runner said she was “responding to the massive outpouring of support and encouragement from community leaders and district residents asking her to run for state Senate.”
“I’m truly touched and humbled by the encouragement I’ve received to run for state Senate. In particular, I’d like to thank Congressman-elect Steve Knight for his support and endorsement. As the current officeholder and our good friend, his encouragement is particularly meaningful,” Runner stated.
Runner said she also has received endorsements and online encouragement from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Assembly Member Tom Lackey, Assembly Member Scott Wilk and former Assembly Member Cameron Smyth. Runner said she is now “taking the first steps to form a campaign operation pending a final decision, once the Governor calls an election.”
State election law mandates that a special election be held for legislative vacancies. The date is set by the Governor within certain calendar requirements. Should Senator Knight step down this weekend or early next week as expected, the date of the special election will likely be sometime in March, with a runoff, if necessary, likely in May.
“Over the next few weeks, prior to the call of the election, I’ll be reaching out to other potential candidates and community leaders throughout the district to discuss the pressing challenges facing California,” Runner stated. “What’s truly important is that we send someone to Sacramento as quickly as possible to combat the job-killing over-regulation, over-taxation and the dangerous situation created by early release of felons by Prop 47 and realignment,” concluded Runner.
Runner was previously a member of the California State Assembly from 2002 to 2008, representing the 36th district. She was elected by a 2-1 margin in the 2011 Senate Special Election. The following year, Runner announced she would not seek re-election, saying she was “retiring from elected office to focus on business and philanthropic efforts.” [Read more here.]
Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford last month announced he was forming an exploratory committee to evaluate his candidacy for state senate. [Read more here.]
The 21st Senate District includes the San Bernardino County communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville; the Los Angeles County communities of Lancaster, Palmdale and unincorporated Antelope Valley; and the Lakes Communities, along with portions of the Santa Clarita Valley.
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