SACRAMENTO — State Sen. Tim Leslie, a Republican contender for lieutenant governor, said Thursday that he has a rare bone marrow cancer but will continue to campaign for the state's second-highest office.
"Actually, there's a silver lining--fewer [campaign] picnics to go to and more time to dial for dollars," he said, after Thursday's Senate session.
Leslie (R-Carnelian Bay) has multiple myeloma, which he said was discovered after he fell in late April. He said he will begin chemotherapy treatment immediately.
"The prognosis is great," he said. "There are many people--many of them in this building--who have gone through this process and are cancer-free five to seven years later."
Leslie, 55, was elected to the state Assembly in 1986. He won a Senate seat in 1991 in a special midterm election. He is vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
His huge, largely rural district stretches down the northeastern corner of the state, running from Oregon to Mono Lake and taking in Lake Tahoe and some of Sacramento's eastern suburbs.
Sen. Richard Mountjoy (R-Arcadia) and Assemblyman Brooks Firestone (R-Los Olivos) are also seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.