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SharonRunner.JPGRepublican Sen. Sharon Runner, who is awaiting a lung transplant for a rare autoimmune disease, announced today that she will not seek re-election in November.

Runner has been absent from the upper house since January, when she disclosed that complications related to her condition required her to work outside of Sacramento. She said today that she expects to make a full recovery and will focus on "business and philanthropic efforts" after leaving office.

"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."

Runnner, who previously served six years in the Assembly, was elected to the Senate in a 2011 special election. She filled the seat vacated by her husband, George Runner, who was elected to the state Board of Equalization the previous November.

Runner's issues with Limited Scleroderma began in 2008, when she was hospitalized for treatment related to the disease. She had been placed on the lung transplant list previously, but said at the time of her 2011 campaign that her condition had improved and she no longer needed a transplant.

She said in the statement that both she and her husband have encouraged Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, to run for her seat.

RELATED POSTS:
GOP Sen. Sharon Runner again seeking lung transplant
Sharon Runner hospitalized - but OK

PHOTO CREDIT: Assembly Member Sharon Runner, listens to Mexican President Felipe Calderón speak to a joint session of the California Assembly and Senate at the state Capitol on Feb. 13, 2008. (Sacramento Bee file photo / Brian Baer)



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