Former Republican lawmaker Sharon Runner of Lancaster has emerged as the only candidate for one of three open state Senate seats.
Runner, who recovered from a double lung transplant three years ago, will be alone on the March 17 special election ballot for a district that includes parts of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
The 21st District seat was vacated when Republican Sen. Steve Knight was elected to Congress.
Runner, who lists herself on the ballot as an educator and business owner, previously served in the state Assembly and was elected to the Senate in 2011. She did not seek reelection so she could recover from the lung transplant, which stemmed from a rare autoimmune disease.
Being uncontested, she said, is “the greatest news a candidate can hear. I never expected to be in that position.”
Three Republicans will be on the ballot competing for an Orange County seat that opened up when Republican state Sen. Mimi Walters of Irvine was elected to Congress.
In that district, the 37th, the contestants are state Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner of Irvine, former Orange County Supervisor John W. Moorlach of Costa Mesa and Naz Nam Azi, a Mission Viejo real estate agent.
If no candidate receives a majority, a runoff election will be held May 19 between the two who won the most votes.
In the 7th state Senate District, four Democrats and one Republican will vie under those same rules to fill a vacancy created when Democratic state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier of Concord went to Congress.
The Democrats are Orinda Mayor Steve Glazer, a former strategist for Gov. Jerry Brown; Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla of Concord; former Democratic Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan of Alamo; and teacher and scientist Terry Kremin of Concord.
The Republican candidate is Michaela M. Hertle of Pleasanton, an information technology businesswoman.