Steve Knight (politician)

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Steve Knight
Steve Knight official congressional photo.jpeg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 25th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2015
Preceded by Buck McKeon
Member of the California State Senate
from the 21st district
In office
December 3, 2012 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Sharon Runner (redistricted)
Succeeded by Sharon Runner
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 36th district
In office
December 1, 2008 – November 30, 2012
Preceded by Sharon Runner
Succeeded by Steve Fox
Palmdale City Councilman
In office
December 5, 2005 – December 1, 2008
Succeeded by Laura Bettencourt
Personal details
Born Stephen Thomas Knight
(1966-12-17) December 17, 1966 (age 49)
Edwards Air Force Base, Antelope Valley, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lily Knight
Residence Palmdale, California, U.S.
Alma mater Antelope Valley College
Profession Police officer
Religion Catholic[1]
Website Rep. Steve Knight
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1985-1993

Stephen Thomas "Steve" Knight (born December 17, 1966) is an American politician. A Republican, he is the U.S. Representative for California's 25th congressional district. Previously, he represented California's 21st State Senate district from 2012 to 2014 and California's 36th State Assembly district from 2008 through 2012. From 2010 to 2012, he served as Assistant Minority Leader in the California State Assembly.[2]

Knight served in the U.S. Army from 1985 to 1993 and served for 18 years with the Los Angeles Police Department. He was previously a member of the Palmdale, California City Council.

Early life, military service and career[edit]

Knight was born at Edwards Air Force Base in the Antelope Valley on December 17, 1966.[3] After graduating from Palmdale High School, he served in the U.S. Army from 1985-1987 as a track systems mechanic in Friedberg, Germany.[4] When his tour ended, he served in the Army Reserve, and his total military service spanned from 1985 to 1993.[5] In 2006, Knight received an associate of arts degree from Antelope Valley College.[6]

Knight served for 18 years with the Los Angeles Police Department, where he was selected to serve on the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH) team.[7] He served on the Palmdale City Council and represented the north Los Angeles County area in both the California State Assembly and California State Senate.[8]

Steve Knight speaks with members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

California State Legislature[edit]

Knight was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2008, succeeding Sharon Runner. From 2010 to 2012, he was the Assistant Minority Leader of the California State Assembly.[9] In 2012, Knight was elected to the California State Senate, where he represented the 21st District until 2014. His father, the late William J. "Pete" Knight, was a former Air Force test pilot and Republican state senator in the Antelope Valley.[8]

In the State Assembly, Knight was vice chairman of the natural resources and public safety committees and served on the aerospace; local government; utilities and commerce; and Rules Committees.[10]

In 2014, Knight was one of three legislators who voted against a measure barring the display or sale of Confederate flag images from California state museums and gift shops.[11]

While in the California State Legislature, Knight focused his efforts on reducing the tax burden on California families and businesses, and restoring the state's economic vitality during the Great Recession. In September 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill introduced by Knight that aimed to protect California’s disabled veterans by fixing an issue with property tax exemptions.[12][13]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2014 election[edit]

Knight focused his 2014 campaign on jobs and education.[14] The Los Angeles Daily News endorsed Knight in the 2014 primary election.[15] Due to California's blanket primary system, Knight faced fellow Republican Tony Strickland in the November 4, 2014, general election. Knight defeated Strickland with 53% of the vote.[16]

2016 election[edit]

In May 2015, the National Republican Congressional Committee named Knight to its Patriot Program. The program gives added attention by the party to reelection campaigns in districts most likely to switch to Democratic representation in upcoming elections.[17]

In addition to Knight, two Democrats and one other Republican filed to run in the district's top-two primary, which took place on June 7, 2016.[18] Knight and Democrat Bryan Caforio advanced to the general election.[19]

In May 2016, Knight participated in a public debate with his Democratic challengers. In it he said that immigration reform should focus on those who want to move to the U.S. legally. In a debate with other candidates, Knight warned that the U.S. Social Security system retirement system will run out of money by 2030 if major changes are not implemented.[20]

Knight has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Daily News.[21] He was also endorsed by Lou Vince, an L.A. police lieutenant and Democrat who finished third (behind Knight and Bryan Caforio) in the 25th district's June 2016 primary.[22]

Knight did not make an endorsement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, saying that he could not support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican nominee Donald Trump.[23]


Knight was sworn into office on January 6, 2015.[24]

In April 2015, Knight had a verbal altercation with a protester. After the protester touched him, Knight threatened him. Knight later apologized.[25]

In April 2015, Knight voted to impose a one-year delay on new Department of Defense rules designed to shield military families from abusive terms on payday loans and other forms of expensive short-term credit.[26]

Knight has authored a bill that would create a national memorial to mark the site of the St. Francis Dam disaster in the Santa Clarita Valley.[27]

In the wake of the Aliso Canyon gas leak, which became public in October 2015, Knight was criticized by some residents in his district for his reaction to the leak. He did not visit the Porter Ranch gas leak site until January 8, 2016, saying that he did not want to politicize the problem.[28] The New York Times reported that Knight, who has received campaign donations from Sempra Energy, said in December 2015 that he was confident that SoCalGas was “working on this as diligently as they can.”[29] In February 2016, Knight introduced a bill that would block mining at Soledad Canyon.[30] Knight also introduced legislation intended to increase federal regulation of gas storage facilities and prevent natural gas leaks.[31] Knight's legislation was merged into a bipartisan bill named the Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016. In April 2016, the bill was passed unanimously by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.[32] In June 2016, Knight's bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama.[33]

Also in February 2016, Knight introduced legislation that would allow the Federal Aviation Administration to continue and expand upon its research, engineering and development programs through 2019.[34][35]

Committee assignments[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Knight is Catholic. He lives in Palmdale with his wife Lily and their two sons.[6]


  1. ^ "California-25: Steve Knight (R)". 
  2. ^ Smith, Perry (November 10, 2014). "Speculation Begins For Steve Knight's State Senate Seat". KHTS. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "KNIGHT, Steve, (1966 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "New Members Guide 2015". The Hill. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "New Members of the 114th Congress Who Have Served in the Military" (PDF). Exchange and Commissary News. Westbury, NY: Executive Business Media. December 1, 2014. p. 11. 
  6. ^ a b "House of Representatives Member Profile; Rep. Steve Knight". Washington, DC: CQ-Roll Call, Inc. September 8, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Steve Knight (R) - District 21". California State Senate. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Panzar, Javier (December 10, 2015). "Democratic lawyer announcing challenge to GOP Rep. Steve Knight". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  9. ^ "Steve Knight's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Our View: Knight for state Senate". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. October 2, 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  11. ^ Merl, Jean (August 27, 2014). "Confederate flag vote puts Knight on spot in congressional race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "Gov. Brown passes bill for disabled veterans". Daily Press. September 30, 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  13. ^ "Knight Measures To Help Veterans, And Protect The Disabled Clear The Senate". High Desert Daily. May 28, 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  14. ^ Simon, Melissa (October 24, 2014). "Strickland, Knight focus on jobs, education". Simi Valley Acorn. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  15. ^ "Endorsement: Steve Knight for Congress in California's 25th District". Los Angeles Daily News. May 8, 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  16. ^ Winburn, Jim (November 5, 2014). "2014 General Election results of interest to Antelope Valley voters". The Antelope Valley Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  17. ^ Merl, Jean (May 1, 2015). "Republicans add Californians to list of its vulnerable House members". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  18. ^ Wenner, Gretchen (April 25, 2016). "Knight faces three primary challengers in 25th congressional district". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  19. ^ Daly, Krista (June 8, 2016). "It's Knight, Caforio in November election for 25th Congressional District". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 
  20. ^ Candid debate at Hart Hall the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, May 5, 2016
  21. ^ "Re-elect Steve Knight to Congress in 25th District: Endorsement". Los Angeles Daily News. September 30, 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  22. ^ Panzar, Javier (September 30, 2016). "Democrat who lost in the primary says he will vote for Republican Rep. Steve Knight in heated House race". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  23. ^ Samuels, Nikolas (October 8, 2016). "Congressman Steve Knight releases statement on Saturday saying he 'cannot support' Donald Trump". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 
  24. ^ "Congressman Steve Knight Sworn Into Office". KHTS. January 6, 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  25. ^ Bump, Philip (April 21, 2015). "California Rep. Steve Knight tells a protester, 'I'll drop your ass'". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  26. ^ Democrats Defeat GOP Plan to Block Predatory Lending Protections For Soldiers The Huffington Post, April 30, 2015
  27. ^ Money, Luke (January 1, 2016). "Knight cites frustrations, progress during first year in Congress". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  28. ^ "As Porter Ranch Gas Leak Lingers, Candidates Smell a Political Opportunity" Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2016
  29. ^ The Invisible Catastrophe The New York Times, March 31, 2016
  30. ^ Money, Luke (February 16, 2016). "Wilk introduces 'Plan B' to help block Cemex mine". Santa Clarita Valley Signal. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  31. ^ Healy, Patrick (February 16, 2016). "Energy Secretary Calls for 'Fresh Look' at Regulation After Gas Leak". NBC. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  32. ^ Bartholomew, Dana (April 24, 2016). "Valley lawmakers continue push for safer natural gas storage". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 29 April 2016. 
  33. ^ Bartholomew, Dana (June 22, 2016). "National bill signed to prevent gas leaks like the one near Porter Ranch". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  34. ^ Varela, Rob (February 8, 2016). "Knight pushes FAA bill to expand aerospace research". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  35. ^ "Knight Introduces Aerospace Research Legislation". KHTS. February 9, 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Buck McKeon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 25th congressional district

January 3, 2015 – present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
John Katko
R-New York
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Brenda Lawrence
Political offices
Preceded by
Sharon Runner
California State Senator
21st District
December 3, 2012 – January 3, 2015
Succeeded by
Sharon Runner
California State Assemblymember
36th District
December 1, 2008 – November 30, 2012
Succeeded by
Steve Fox