SACRAMENTO – Senator Sharon Runner (R-Lancaster) announced Tuesday that her legislation, Senate Bill 49, passed out of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee.
SB 49 would permit the Governor, at his or her discretion, to cancel a special election when only one candidate qualifies to appear on the ballot.
Runner was elected to the Senate in March 2015 in a special election to replace Steve Knight after he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the only candidate to appear on the ballot. Los Angeles County spent $1.4 million on the election while San Bernardino County spent $221,000.
“While my election was a happy event, I was troubled by the expense absorbed by Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties,” Runner stated in a press release. “Elections are a vital part of our democratic process, but it is not always necessary to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on an election when only one name appears on the ballot.”
Since 1975, there have been three instances where a special election was conducted with only one candidate officially listed on the ballot. In each case, the candidate won with at least 94 percent of the vote.
SB 49 is supported by the California State Association of Counties and the County of San Bernardino. It passed with unanimous support and now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Elected in March 2015, Sharon Runner represents portions of Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties as Senator for the 21st District. Her district includes the Antelope Valley, Victor Valley and portions of the Santa Clarita Valley. For more information, visit http://district21.cssrc.us/.