LANCASTER – The Republican primary field for the 36th Assembly District has shrunk to a battle between incumbent Sharon Runner and Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford after Victorville schoolteacher Josephine Sotomayer failed to qualify for the ballot. The winner of the June 6 primary will face challenges from two other candidates in the Nov. 7 – Democrat Robert “Bo” Bynum and Green Party candidate Tom Bolema. Bynum and Bolema have uncontested primary races. As the field shrank, Runner released her first campaign-finance statement, reporting 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. “It takes money to get your name out there and get your message out there,” Runner said. “When you represent 500,000 people, it takes money to let them know what you will do for them.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 Ledford said he was in the process of opening a campaign account. Ledford said he won’t be able to beat Runner in funding but expects to raise enough to help him win at the ballot box. “I think I’ll be in good shape,” Ledford said. “I’m optimistic I’ll be able to compete financially.” Runner is critical of Ledford for challenging her for what would be her third and final term under state term-limit laws, rather than waiting for the next election. Runner said she is having to spend time and money on her campaign for what should have been “a safe seat” instead of helping Republicans across California who might be in tight election battles. Runner said she has stepped up her fundraising efforts to include three extra events. Ledford said he will discuss his campaign-financing strategy later when he makes his formal announcement about his bid for the Assembly seat. Ledford, saying he feels the Republican Party lacks leadership from the incumbent, disputed her claim that he is hurting the party by running. 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 the state statistics. Jim Skeen, (661) 267-5743 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!