Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, on SCVTV’s “Newsmaker of the Week” show.
[KHTS] – State Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, announced his intent to run for the 25th Congressional District in November, according to federal records online.
However, Knight added that he has not yet pulled papers, and he’s only running if House Armed Services Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa State Sen. Steve KnightClarita, decides not to seek re-election.
“If you’ve pulled papers then I think you’re probably running, but I have not pulled papers,” Knight said. “But I wanted to announce that if he does retire, I’m in the race.”
Knight, who grew up in the 25th district and now represents much of it in the state Senate, announced his decision less than 24 hours after it was reported that former state Sen. Tony Strickland, a Republican who lost to Democrat Julia Brownley in the newly redrawn 26th Congressional District in 2012, filed papers to run for McKeon’s seat, even though Strickland doesn’t live in the district. (Under federal law, members of Congress don’t have to live in their district – only their state.)
Three Democrats have already declared their intentions to seek McKeon’s seat: Jorge Ricardo Puentes, an Army veteran; Lee Rogers, a podiatrist; and Evan “Ivan” Thomas, a retired Air Force pilot.
“We’ve kind of gone through a couple of different periods of going back and forth,” Knight said, discussing his decision. “My wife and I last week sat down and talked to my boys and they wanted me to do it, and I really wanted to represent this area.”
Knight said after discussing the move with his constituents, as well, he felt it was the right move.
Knight listed numerous Santa Clarita Valley politicos as his supporters, including Assemblyman Scott Wilk, Wlk’s predecessor Cameron Smyth and county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
Knight was an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, serving in the Devonshire Division for years before running for political office.
He was a former member of the Palmdale City Council, then a member of the state’s Assembly from 2008-12 in the same district his father, Pete Knight, also served as a member of the Assembly.
He successfully ran for the 21st District in the state Senate in 2012.
The 25th Congressional District election, which is more than 11 months away, has already prompted rampant speculation that McKeon’s 11th and current term would be his last.
McKeon has ardently denied these rumors through spokeswoman Alissa McCurley.
Knight said his experience as a representative, and the way he’s fought for the aerospace industry in his district, prove that he has the bona fides to represent the 25th Congressional District.
“In our district, we’ve got a lot of connections to aerospace, moviemaking and agriculture, and all of those are the backbone of California,” Knight said. “And we’ve turned our back, to some extent, on all three industries. Those have to be top priorities.”