“I’m going to support personal freedom and lower taxes,” George Runner said. George Runner said Ledford acted as if the contributions were some “deep, dark secret” when they have been fully and properly disclosed. “Ledford needs to tell people why he is running, what he is going to do for them, and what his philosophy is. That’s what voters want to know,” George Runner said. Sharon Runner’s first campaign-finance statement reported more than $113,000 raised so far for her re-election bid. Runner said she expects to raise more than $200,000 for the campaign. Ledford said he was in the process of opening a campaign account. Ledford said his campaign contributions will be “pure as distilled water.” Before criticizing the Runners’ campaign financing, Ledford said he has more experience in building bipartisan consensus on issues of importance to the region, such as his work with the North Los Angeles County Transportation Coalition. Ledford criticized both Runners for not soliciting Palmdale city officials’ views on issues that need to be addressed in Sacramento and said he would do a better job of working with the district’s cities. “I have a great understanding, from the ground up, of what is happening here in the high desert,” Ledford said. “I will represent the district evenly and fairly.” The winner of the June 6 Republican primary will face Democrat Robert “Bo” Bynum, a Palmdale School District trustee, in the Nov. 7 general election. Two candidates who filed for the Assembly race failed to qualify for the ballot – Republican Josephine Sotomayer, a Victorville schoolteacher, and Green Party member Tom Bolema. Sharon Runner, who succeeded her husband in the local Assembly seat, is finishing her second term as Assemblywoman and under the state term-limits law can serve no more than three terms. The 36th District covers the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster and the rest of the Los Angeles County portion of the Antelope Valley, as well as portions of western San Bernardino County, including the cities of Victorville and Adelanto. Republicans account for 44.9 percent of the district’s registered voters, compared with 35.3 percent for Democrats, according to state statistics. [email protected] (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event“First of all, no one is holier than thou,” Sharon Runner said Thursday afternoon in a telephone interview. “None of this affects how I vote on issues.” For example, Runner said she has authored anti-drunk driving legislation, and she has taken a stand against gaming off Indian reservations. “I believe when you are raising money to help Republicans, you take in as much money as you possible. The money is helping other Republicans get elected in the state,” she said. Sharon Runner said she finds the criticism ironic since Ledford used to own a Palmdale bar. George Runner said that he and his wife have probably raised well in excess of $2 million in campaign funds over the past five years, so the money from those three interests represent a fraction of the total. When those industries do come before the state Legislature, it’s typically for issues related to personal freedom and taxation issues, he said. LANCASTER – Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford formally announced his run for state Assembly Thursday, calling himself a consensus builder and slamming his opponent for accepting contributions from tobacco, alcohol and Indian gaming interests. Ledford said Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster, and her husband, state Sen. George Runner, accepted donations totaling more than $100,000 over the past five years from tobacco, alcohol and gaming interests. “My opponent is fully positioned in front of the trough,” Ledford said. “The money is being accepted by people who represent themselves as holier than thou.” Ledford will appear in the June 6 Republican primary against Sharon Runner, whose latest campaign finance filing statement lists donations from beer producer Anheuser Busch, tobacco giants RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris, and Indian tribes with casinos, including the Agua Caliente Band of Cahulla Indians, Pechanga Band of Mission Indians, and the San Miguel Tribal Administration.