Sharon Runner (1954-2016)

Senator Sharon Runner

Senator Runner

According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, Senator Sharon Runner has died. Runner, the 99th woman to serve in the California State Legislature, served in the Assembly from 2002-2008 and in the State Senate from 2011-2012 and 2015-2016. Sharon Runner held an interesting spot in California history, being the first person elected to the State Senate twice in Special Elections and only the 5th Republican woman to serve in both houses.

One of the most enduring memories that I will carry of Senator Runner was the closeness of her office. Many legislative offices are close (at least on Legislative Bowling Night) but few have the sustained strong connection that I saw with her staff. Few things communicated this more than a note included in her final newsletter from her 2011-12 term in Senate;

“I have been honored to be served by my wonderful staff. They truly are more like family, they have given their hard work ethic, values and loyalty to the Runner Team for many, many years. It will be difficult for me to not see them regularly. They have done an outstanding job for the constituents throughout the district.”

The best way to sum up Senator Runner is to paraphrase the epitaph of 1950s Assemblyman Edwin S. Bulen;

“She Loved People”