Elected in November 2010 and re-elected in 2014, George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. He is a leading advocate for California taxpayers. In January 2015, his colleagues chose him to serve as the Board’s Vice Chair.
During his time on the Board, Runner has worked to improve California’s tax policies and practices and to create and retain more private sector jobs in our state. He was instrumental in ending the practice of collecting security deposits from new business owners trying to do business California. As a result, the state has returned tens of millions of dollars back to their rightful owners instead of keeping those funds tied up in a government account.
Runner led a successful effort to reform an ineffective use tax collection program targeting small businesses. He is an outspoken critic of the confusing and controversial California Fire Prevention Fee.
Prior to his election to the Board, Runner served twelve years in the State Legislature. As a thoughtful conservative, his legislative priorities included improving the economy, business growth, education excellence, and public safety for all Californians. As a member of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee, Runner consistently led the fight against tax increases and supported tax relief for families and businesses.
Mr. Runner and his wife, Senator Sharon Runner, are the authors of Jessica's Law, which was passed by more than 70 percent of California voters in November 2006. It created 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.
In recognition of his efforts, Runner was named Legislator of the Year by a number of respected organizations, including the California State Sheriffs' Association, Crime Victims United, California Sexual Assault Investigators Association, Coalition of Chief Probation Officers, California Coalition of Directors of Environmental Health, California Community College Trustees, and the California Building Industry Association.
He also received the Pursuit of Justice Award from the Los Angeles County Association of Deputy District Attorneys. Runner was consistently named one of Sacramento's most conservative legislators by the Capitol Weekly newspaper and received perfect legislative scores from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association.
Prior to his election to the State Senate in 2004, Runner served in the State Assembly for three terms, from 1996 to 2002. During this time of service, Runner served as Vice Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. In this role he fought against tax increases and for tax relief on behalf of all Californians.
Prior to his election to the State Assembly, Runner served on the Lancaster City Council, including two years as mayor. In 1976 the Runners founded Desert Christian Schools, which is now one of the largest private schools in the State of California.
George and Sharon Runner are the first husband and wife in California history to have served concurrently in the Legislature. They are proud parents of their son Micah, daughter-in-law Sandy, daughter Rebekah, son-in-law James, and four grandchildren.