Former Rep. Steve Knight officially announced his candidacy for the 2020 election for the 25th Congressional District seat on Saturday.
Knight had served in Congress for the 25th District, which represents the Santa Clarita, Simi and Antelope valleys, from 2015 to 2019. Knight lost his re-election bid to now-former-Rep. Katie Hill in 2018.
“We took a good week or so to look at the race and what I brought to the table,” said Knight over a phone call Saturday. “It’s a different deal right now, and we’ve got a representative who resigned and left a vacant seat, and I think we absolutely need to get someone in there and I believe I’m the best person.”
Hill resigned effective Nov. 3 amid allegations of intimate relationships with staffers. She acknowledged a relationship with a former campaign staffer but denied an allegation of a relationship with a member of her congressional staff. That allegation had become the focus of a House Ethics Committee investigation.
Knight said his campaign would be looking at finishing a number of goals he had through his first two terms.
“In the second term, I worked on quite a bit of infrastructure and some school funding issues at the federal level. I didn’t get to bring that forward in the third term,” Knight said. “Obviously, veterans are going to be a high priority and the military. And infrastructure, especially around Santa Clarita, and down through Palmdale and even out to Simi Valley, is a huge issue right now and for the next 50 years. And then school funding, when I was in, we looked at school funding for school safety and issues and we’ re going to bring up some new issues.”
Knight, who comes into a Republican candidate pool with at least three other candidates who have a head start on him this election cycle, said he had reached out to them and their campaigns before making Saturday’s official announcement.
“I’ve reached out to the three candidates on the Republican side who have been running for the last few months, I’ve reached out to them and told them that I’m not trying to do anything against you, and I obviously won’t disparage them,” said Knight. “But I believe I’m the best candidate.”
Previous experience and past accomplishments, he said, would help a representative go into Washington, D.C., and not miss a step.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has yet to call a special election to fill Hill’s vacated seat, which if called could occur in March, for the remainder of her term. However, regardless of how the official election date shakes out, Knight has said he is running.
“We’re running for the whole deal,” said Knight. “There’s a lot of issues that are on the table right now that I’ve already reached out to members in leadership to help out with some of those issues in our area. I believe I’m the best candidate just for accomplishment and experience.”