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.