Senator George Runner was sworn in Monday as a Member of the Board of Equalization.
Runner now represents California ’s 2nd Equalization District, the same day as the candidate filing period for his old office closed with his wife, Sharon, running against a solitary challenger, Democrat Darren Parker of Lancaster.
Sharon Runner announced her candidacy last week (click here for details); the former Assemblywoman hopes to get back into the swing of Sacramento politics after serving on the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board for the last two years. She faced some health challenges, but told KHTS those have been overcome with a stringent drug and treatment regimen.
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Parker is an officer of the Democratic Party County Central Committee, District 36 and has a long list of community service credentials, working with government committees and charitable organizations. He serves on the Antelope Valley Human Relations Commission and is a leader in the Communications Workers of America. He is a 30+ year employee of AT&T.
The February 15 election is special because it will be the first in California after voters decided that primary elections could be won by anyone getting more than 50 percent of the vote or by a subsequent general election with the two highest vote-getters as the contenders. If that election is held, it will be April 19 and will include those vying for the 28th Senate District seat open after the death of Jenny Oropoeza.
Runner’s move to the Board of Equalization was prompted by his interest in making sure taxpayers’ interests were being protected.
“My commitment is to taxpayers,” said Runner. “I need to know that taxpayers are honestly and effectively being represented.”
He noted that tax policies have consequences, pointing out that more people are now leaving California for other states than are coming to California from those states.
“To me the challenge before us is getting people back to work,” said Runner. “A vibrant economy is vital to solving California ‘s long-term fiscal problems.”
The oath of office was administered by State Controller John Chiang. Former lawmaker and Board Member Dean Andal emceed the ceremony. Runner will represent more than 8 million California residents living in thirty-four counties stretching from the Oregon border to San Bernardino.
Along with his wife, he authored California’s Jessica’s Law – creating some of the toughest and most comprehensive sex offender management and control laws in the nation.
He also authored the well-known California Amber Alert, which has resulted in more than 200 successful reunions of children with their parents; as well as California’s Blue Alert, which uses Amber Alert technology when a peace officer has been killed, seriously wounded or assaulted with a deadly weapon and the suspect has fled the scene.
As a constitutional officer, along with current Board Member Michelle Steel, Runner now serves as the highest-ranking Republican elected official in California.
The five-member California State Board of Equalization is a publicly elected tax board. The BOE collects more than $48 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes.
For more information about Board of Equalization Member George Runner, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.