State Senator Sharon Runner was a passionate public servant who served her community in many capacities. Sharon Runner passed away yesterday at age 62. She had returned to the senate after recovering from a double lung transplant.

One of her proudest political achievements was the overwhelming success of Proposition 83, California’s version of Jessica’s Law, requiring registered sex offenders who have been convicted of a felony sex offense to be monitored by GPS devices. The measure passed with nearly 71% vote on the 2006 ballot and won in 57 of the state’s 58 counties.

Sharon Runner was strong on education issues. Along with her husband, Board of Equalization member George Runner, they created Desert Christian Schools, one of the largest private schools in California.

She served on many and varied boards and committees including Scleroderma Foundation’s Legislative Committee, and California Women Lead, a bi-partisan organization that encourages and empowers women running for public office.

Praise from many quarters came following the announcement of her passing. Below are a few:

Gov. Jerry Brown: “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. Out thoughts are with the Runner family on this difficult day.”

Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce said, “Senator Runner was dedicated to serving California and her constituents, but she was much more. She was a gracious human being who treated everyone with respect and was trusted by all in return. Sharon was a role model for all of us.”

Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes said, “Sharon’s battle with scleroderma and her successful recovery from a double lung transplant inspired us all, and encouraged many Californians to sign up to become organ donors.  She was also a role model for women aspiring to public office, rising to become Assistant Assembly Republican Leader and working tirelessly to elect Republican women across the state.”