Ed. Note: The following is part of a post-election series looking at the plans for our newly elected officials.
Steve Knight, who garnered the state Senate seat occupied by Sharon Runner in November’s election, says there are a lot of similarities between his old job and his new one.
Recently elected to a first term in the state’s 21st Senate District, Knight discussed the political climate and his goals as he transitions to his new post.
“A lot of the goals stay the same moving from the Assembly to the Senate,” said Knight, who’s spent much of his time in politics primarily serving the various parts of his new constituency through his previous position as the assemblyman for the 36th district, which includes about half of the Santa Clarita Valley.
Knight’s father, Pete Knight, also represented the 36th District, from 1992-96.
“We’ve been very clear that our economy will always be our No. 1 priority, and the bulk of our legislative goals will be built around that,” Knight said.
Educational legislation, primarily continuing bipartisan efforts that had been championed to take some of the burden from local schools, would also be something receiving attention when the next session takes place, as well as veterans issues, which has always been a priority for the former Army officer who’s the son of a longtime Air Force test pilot and astronaut.
“(Veteran issues) are very much a nonpartisan thing, and people want to help and get things done to help them,” Knight said.
“And as far as future goals, we lost some seats, so I still have to build bridges and make some friends,” he said, referring to the fact that both the Assembly and the state Senate lost seats, which he wasn’t expecting.
While he admitted that the political outcome from November’s vote may not have been ideal for his party, Knight said he’s viewing the situation as a new set of goals that will hopefully encourage bipartisanship.
“We’ve got to build bills that make sense to everyone and not just our party, and I think that’s a good way of looking at it,” Knight said. “We have to get everyone on board.”