PALMDALE — It was a night of stories and many thanks Friday at the Embassy Suites as the Antelope Valley Board of Trade conducted a celebration of former Rep. Steve Knight for more than three decades of service and lead­er­ship to the res­i­dents of the An­telope Valley.

“I’m not dead yet,” Knight said in his opening remarks, which seemed to be a running joke for the evening. Many in the crowd of local leaders and city officials applauded and laughed at Knight’s modest take on his work in Congress over the years. “The community is why I was successful.”

As a U.S. Army vet­er­an, 18 year veteran with the Los Angeles Po­lice De­part­ment and leader on the local, statewide and na­tion­al level, Knight served in the U.S. House of Representatives for four years. Some of the ac­com­plishments he out­lined were con­struc­ting a new control tower at Plant 42, working with local veterans, fund­ing the F-18 landing at NASA, and his case work with the military acad­emy.

“I didn’t do it alone,” Knight said. “My staff was off the charts.”

One staff mem­ber, Isaac Barcelona, Con­­gres­sional District Li­ai­son Of­ficer, was dir­ect­ly re­spon­sible for the mil­it­ary ac­ad­­emy ap­point­ments by help­ing select and put forth con­gres­sional nom­in­a­tions of between 15 to 20 applicants each year. Anoth­er issue he oversaw was immigration.

“It was an amazing jour­ney,” Barcelona said, “This work will forever impact the nation.”

The event was organized by intermittent mingling with appetizers and wine along with formal thanks from local representatives throughout the Valley.

First to speak was state Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clar­ita, whose district in­cludes much of the An­tel­ope Valley “You were the right guy at the right time and really de­livered for our district,” he said.

Next to present was Charles F. Bostwick and Donna Termeer on behalf of Los Angeles County 5th District Su­per­visor Kath­ryn Barger. “Steve is the epitome of selfless servant leadership,” Termeer said.

The city of Palmdale said a few words of thanks to Knight as well. “This is not the end; it’s the be­gin­ning,” Mayor Pro Tem Aus­tin Bish­op said.

Mayor Steve Hof­bauer re­flected on his time work­ing with Knight on the Palm­dale City Coun­cil and emphasized the im­port­ance of his work as Con­gress­man in the new airport opening soon and success at Edwards Air Force Base and Plant 42.

“I got to call you my As­sem­blyman, my Senator, my Congressman, but most importantly my friend,” Hof­bauer said.

Others who wished Knight well included the mayor of Simi Valley, Ed­wards Air Force Base, NASA Armstrong Research Cen­ter, Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, Lancaster Cham­ber of Commerce, Quartz Hill Chamber of Com­merce and An­telope Val­ley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“Knight doesn’t put his stat­us above anything; he’s a really down to earth guy and his compassion is over­whelming,” said Syl­via Duar­te, incoming pres­ident for the Hispanic Cham­ber of Commerce. She is thank­ful for all he has done for the chamber and for the for­ever friendship with him and his wife Lily that will go beyond just being a Con­gressman.

Don Hoperich, of the Cham­ber of Commerce of the Greater Antelope Val­ley said: “We’re all sad to see him go. He was a good asset and a steady con­trib­utor to the Valley.”

Coffee for Vets, or­gan­ized by Juan Blanco, also thanked Knight for his heart for the veterans. Blan­­co described Knight as a genuine class-act that real­ly used his ability in Wash­ing­ton to represent his fel­low brothers and sis­ters.

“Steve has always been there for the community and for the schools,” vet­er­an and Lancaster School Dis­trict Board of Trustee Duane Winn said.

“Steve took an oath while in LAPD to protect and to serve and has done so tremendously with the An­tel­ope Valley,” veteran Den­nis Anderson said.

As for Knight, he in­tends to keep busy by going back to work and stay­ing in­volved with the com­mu­nity, specifically veterans and aerospace.

“I would have liked my term to be longer, but ev­ery­thing comes to an end,” Knight said. “I thank the com­mu­nity and all my friends who have helped along the way.”

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