EDITOR’S NOTE: These are part of a series this week on candidates for the 25th Congressional District seat.
PALMDALE — Republican Steve Knight is the only candidate out of the 13 candidates running for the 25th Congressional District seat with experience in Congress.
Knight served two terms in the House of Representatives. He was first elected in November 2014. He won re-election in November 2016. Then Democrat Katie Hill defeated Knight in the November 2018 Blue Wave that gave Democrats control of the House.
The seat is vacant after Hill resigned last November. Knight announced his intention to run for Congress last October after Hill announced she would step down following allegations of improper relations with staff members that triggered a House Ethics Committee investigation and following the release of nude photos of Hill in online conservative outlets.
“When the election was over I was not working,” Knight said. “I went out and created a business and that’s what I was doing for those seven, eight months.”
Knight, an Army veteran and 18-year veteran with the Los Angeles Police Department, created a consulting business. By the time Hill resigned last fall, Knight explained, he was in a better position to be able to jump into the race.
“I think people forgot that; I wasn’t just sitting around the house,” Knight said.
Knight’s campaign website highlights 25 accomplishments for the 25th District that Knight did while he was a member of Congress. Asked which accomplishment he would most like to highlight, Knight said veterans convenient care.
The program began as a pilot program in 2018 with area urgent care centers to provide services when VA clinics are closed and to prevent local veterans from needing to travel to facilities in Los Angeles for immediate care.
“The VA committee basically took our plan and turned it into the Mission Act, which they’re now putting across the country,” Knight said.
Knight also highlighted amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act for Southern California aerospace.
Knight also secured a $47 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to relieve traffic on Interstate 5 in and around Santa Clarita.
“When that’s done, that’s going to help our commuters, either in the Antelope Valley or Santa Clarita,” Knight said.
Knight also highlighted the things that do not always make the headlines — casework.
“We did hundreds, if not thousands, of casework, where people would come into our three offices and we would help them,” Knight said. “That’s the best thing we can do because you’re dealing with folks right in your district.”
Knight also helped more than 70 young men and women get into a military academy.
“We’ve got great young people in our district so we had a lot of qualified folks,” Knight said.
Knight expressed confidence that his late entry into the race won’t be a disadvantage money-wise as far as campaign contributions are concerned.
“Money’s a big deal and time is money,” Knight said. “We’ll see if it’s a disadvantage or not in three weeks. “
Knight said he didn’t think it would be a big enough disadvantage.
“If I’m not No.1, I’ll be in the top two and then I’ll move on from there,” Knight said.
Once the top two candidates are determined raising campaign cash shouldn’t be an issue,he added.
Knight said in 2018, when Democrats took control of the House, President Donald Trump had been president for two years.
“We all know in the first mid-term of a president it’s hard for him to hold on to the House,” Knight said.
The 2020 election will be different, Knight said, because the Democrats will have a candidate on the ballot.
“If it’s going to be President Trump and Bernie Sanders, I like my chances,” Knight said.
Knight said he would have voted against impeachment for President Trump.
“I don’t think that was an impeachable issue,” Knight said. “I do believe that presidents speak to other leaders in certain ways, and they talk to them a little differently than we maybe expect. I do like a leader that will be a little bit forceful.”
He added that the American people are done with it and want Congress to get back to work.