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ha_hector_barajas10519.JPGCalifornia Senate Republicans are saying goodbye to one communications guru as they bring a former member back to the building as a part-time aide.

Caucus Communications Director Hector Barajas, a political consultant known for his work trying to strengthen the GOP's image with Latino voters, is leaving his post after just over a year to pursue a yet-to-be-announced opportunity. His last day will be April 30.

"What I can say is I'm going to be doing a bit more of TV analyst for Spanish language (programming)," said Barajas, who said he hopes to continue to advise Senate GOP leader Bob Huff and other members on political strategy outside of the Capitol.

The caucus is also bringing on a former state senator to focus on issues related to women.

Former Sen. Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, has been hired as a part-time staff member for the caucus. The Lancaster Republican, who is married to Board of Equalization member George Runner, will be paid $2,530 a month to work at least 17.5 a week, Senate GOP staff and Secretary of the Senate Greg Schmidt confirmed today.

"Sharon is focused on serving as part of our communications staff providing support for our Caucus and its individual members in a variety of areas, including: outreach, research on women's issues," an emailed statement released by two GOP caucus aides reads. "She is also acting as a liaison to the Women's Caucus, and advising Senators on issues pending before the Legislature."

Runner, a former assemblywoman, was elected to fill the Senate seat formerly held by her husband in a 2011 special election.

She opted not to run for a full term in 2012, citing complications from a health issue that led her to get a double lung transplant last year.

Runner previously said she planned to focus on "business and philanthropic efforts" after leaving office.

PHOTO CREDIT: Hector Barajas. Sacramento Bee file photo.


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