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State Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, will join a growing field of candidates competing to succeed veteran Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon should he retire at the end of next year.

"My commitment to this community has been for a lifetime," Knight said in prepared statement Tuesday. "Serving as a member of Congress representing my childhood friends, law enforcement colleagues, and neighbors would be an honor."

Knight's announcement comes just days after former Sen. Tony Strickland filed paperwork to run in McKeon's 25th Congressional District. A Strickland spokesman later said he would seek the seat only if McKeon doesn't pursue a 12th term in Congress.

Strickland avoided a rematch with freshman Democratic Rep. Julia Brownley when he withdrew from the 26th district race and endorsed GOP Assemblyman Jeff Gorell.

The 25th district is seen as a safe GOP seat despite Republican Mitt Romney carrying it by only two percentage points in 2012. Democrat Lee Rogers, who lost by nine points to McKeon in the last election, is mounting another run.

Steve Knight is the son of the late state Sen. Pete Knight, who for years represented the Antelope Valley. On Tuesday, he released a list of endorsements from Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Anotonvich, Ventura County Supervisor Peter Foy, George Runner, a member of the Board of Equalization, former Sen. Sharon Runner, Assemblyman Scott Wilk, and former Assemblyman Cameron Smyth.

"The people of this area value service in the military, want to live in safe neighborhoods, and expect their local schools to be of the highest quality," Knight said. "I share those values and will be working with them to make these beliefs a reality."

PHOTO: Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, during session in the Senate chambers March 11, 2013.


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