John Runkle has formally announced his candidacy for the newly formed Chautauqua County Legislative District 7 seat. This district incorporates the towns of Portland, Stockton, and a portion of Chautauqua. Runkle has been a member of the county legislature since 2009. He presently serves as the Chairman of the legislature's Audit and Control Committee which oversees the financial operations of the county. Runkle is a retired lieutenant of the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office with 28 years of service. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force serving from 1967-1971 with a tour in Vietnam from 1970-1971 as a medic. Runkle is a graduate of George Mason University with a B.A. degree in liberal arts. He has been endorsed by the Chautauqua County Republican, Conservative and Independence parties.
As a county legislator, Runkle voted to eliminate health insurance benefits for legislators, voted to reduce the size of the legislature from 25 to 19 members, and sponsored legislation calling for more accountability over welfare programs in the county. He is a strong supporter of the right to keep and bear arms as defined in our constitution and he also supports reducing the size and cost of county government.
Runkle is a member of Cassadaga American Legion Post 1280, the Ellery VFW and Dunkirk Masonic Lodge 301. He is a former Town of Stockton Councilman and Supervisor with 15 years of service in those capacities. He has been married to wife, Kathi, for 39 years and has two adult daughters, Susan and Kyla.