Senator Sharon Runner Dies At 62

Sharon Runner (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

California State Senator Sharon Runner died on Thursday morning at the age of 62, after experiencing respiratory complications.

The Runner family said Thursday that she died peacefully at home, according to the Sacramento Bee. She underwent a double lung transplant in 2012.

Her family’s statement highlighted the Runner’s favorite Bible verse, Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

The Sacramento Bee reported that the former Desert Christian School founder, an evangelical Christian, would recite that verse often, and that it gave her comfort.

Runner was diagnosed with limited scleroderma, an autoimmune disease, in 1984 at the age of 30. She began serving in the State Senate in February 2011, after being elected to the seat of her husband, who left to serve on the State Board of Equalization. As she received the transplant in 2012, she chose not to run for re-election. She recovered and was elected again to the State Senate in a 2015 special election.

California Republican Party Chairman and former State Senator Jim Brulte responded to Runner’s passing:

The people of California and the people of the Antelope Valley have lost a great friend. Sharon Runner’s life was one of service. Whether it was establishing a Christian day school to help educate children, serving first in the California State Assembly and then in the California State Senate, or fighting for initiatives to protect families in California – Sharon was committed to the people of her community and our great state.

As we mourn the loss of Sharon, our prayers go out to her husband George and we pray that the loving arms of God embrace him at this difficult time.

California Gov. Jerry Brown said of Runner after her passing, “Anne and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Sharon Runner who so selflessly served her constituents, her community and the state of California over the years. Our thoughts are with the Runner family on this difficult day.”

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