It's a Family Thing
State Senate candidate George Runner and his wife, Assemblymember Sharon Runner, are poised to be the first husband and wife team to serve in the Legislature at the same time. George Runner was first elected in 1996 to serve in the Assembly and was termed out in 2002. His wife succeeded him and was up for re-election yesterday.
Republican Audra Strickland, wife of termed-out Assemblymember Tony Strickland, also looks to be headed to Sacramento to fill her husband’s old seat.
Runner and Stickland are not the only California women who have followed their husbands into public service. Rep. Mary Bono was elected to Congress in 1998 after Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident. Rep. Lois Capps also headed to the House in 1998 after her husband, Walter Capps, died as a freshman lawmaker.
In addition to spouses, the siblings and children of elected officials often end up in the family business as well. Michael Waxman, the son of Rep. Henry Waxman, is a member of the Los Angeles Community College Board. Assemblymember Ron Calderon is the brother of two former state legislators: Senator Charles Calderon and Assemblymember Tom Calderon. Rep. Linda Sanchez serves alongside her big sister Rep. Loretta Sanchez in Congress. And of course, Los Angeles Councilmember Janice Hahn is the sister of Mayor Jim Hahn; both are the children of the beloved former County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn.
LAist supposes there’s just something about creating an elected “royal family” that makes voters swoon. What other California political families we’re missing on our list?