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William J. "Pete" Knight


Picture of William J. Knight
CA Blue Book (2000)
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-03-1992 Republican AD-36 79718 Win
11-08-1994 Republican AD-36 75686 Win
11-05-1996 Republican SD-17 163531 Win
11-07-2000 Republican SD-17 172723 Win

Candidate Biography:

Born: November 18, 1929, in Noblesville, Indiana
Married: Helena Stone (d. 1978), Gail*
Children: David, Peter and Steve
Military Service: USAF (Vietnam)
Died (in office): May 7, 2004

1984-1988: Member, Palmdale City Council
1988-1992: Mayor, City of Palmdale (first to be popularly elected)

  • LEGISLATION: Author of Proposition 22 (2000) which defined marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.
  • NOTABLE NO VOTE (Expanded Local Pension Benefits): Knight was one of 7 State Senators (and 14 legislators overall) who voted against AB 616 (2001) by Tom Calderon, which allowed California cities, counties and special districts to offer retirement benefit factors up to 3% at age 60. These higher benefit factors led to severe unfunded pension liabilities in a number of cities a decade later. 
  • In 1967, Knight set the world speed record of 4,520 MPH in a fixed wing aircraft.
  • The spacecraft "White Knight One" and "White Knight Two" were named in honor of Pete Knight's work as an astronaut.
  • PLACENAME: William J. "Pete" Knight High School in Palmdale
  • PLACENAME: The Pete Knight Veterans Home of California is located in Palmdale.
  • Gail Knight was a proponent for Proposition 8 (2008) [Limit on Marriage], which passed with 52.5%.
  • HONOR: Knight was included on the Aerospace Walk of Honor (in Lancaster) in 1990.

Source: California Blue Book (2000)