The 25th Congressional District Forum held on Saturday became heated when two Republican candidates — state Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, and Tony Strickland — met to persuade viewers ahead of November’s election.
On Nov. 4, Voters will choose the replacement for Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, who has held a seat Congress for more than two decades.
The candidates argued about support of the pro-life council, who brought who to the district, who is able to work with both Democrats and Republicans, as well as what each has done for the district.
The debate covered topics such as the Cemex Mine, health care, computer science in education,aerospace, movie tax credit and providing representation for the opposite political party, as well as open space wilderness, defense and forest fire regulation.
Forum Heats Up
The talk heated up when the candidates were asked what made them different from their opponent.
Strickland brought Mac Thornberry, the new incoming chair of the House Armed Services Committee, to visit the district, he said, while Knight “brought” Assemblyman Tim Donnelly — “a very divisive individual who, even the conservative of the year, Darrell Issa, said is not even fit to serve in any office anywhere.”
Knight rebuttled by stating “First, let’s set the record straight: I have never brought Tim Donnelly into the district — Tim Donnelly came out and said he endorsed me. A lot of people endorse me. Tony likes to say he’s pro-life and then he takes money away from abortion clinics.”
The candidates also discussed who has been sponsoring them and what committees they plan to be a part of if they are elected.
“When I do get elected, I will be able to deliver day one as I step into the office,” Strickland said. “I think it’s important that you have a representative in the district that will represent everybody.”
Knight touted his legislative record, also.
“I have passed more bills this legislative session than any other Republican senator,” Knight said. “I think the reason is I don’t write a bill for a Republican, I don’t write a bill for a Democrat. I write a bill that makes sense [so] I can work with people.”
Strickland, a former state senator, talked about leadership during his opening statements, while Knight, a former LAPD officer and U.S. Army veteran, discussed his community ties and service.
“What it really comes down to is a lack of leadership in Washington. Too many people in Washington are talking at each other instead of with each other,” Strickland said. “We need to change the culture in Washington. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Democratic idea or a Republican idea, just if it’s a good idea.”
Knight talked about education, as well, in his opening remarks.
“We have a big commitment to community and we have a commitment to what happens in our community, what happens for this country,” Knight said. “We’re going to stand up for people and give opportunities. We’re going to stand up for public education, we’re going to stand up for veterans and that’s exactly what my record shows.”
The candidates were also able to ask each other a question during the forum and they asked each other what they like to do in their free time.
“I’m a lot like a regular guy,” Knight said. “I like to play golf, hang out with my dogs, go to the park and do all of those things. I’m very busy when I do get that free time and I know you (Strickland) and I don’t get a lot of free time right now.”
Strickland responded to the question in a similar way, talking about spending time with his son by playing catch and taking his daughter on “daddy-daughter dates.”
The 25th Congressional District Candidate Forum was hosted by SCVTV, KHTS AM 1220, The Signal and College of the Canyons Cougar News.