Meet House district 101 incumbent, Cezar McKnight
by Laura Stone | June 8, 2018 3:29 pm
Last Updated: June 8, 2018 at 10:34 am
Born and raised in Salters, District 101 House of Representatives Incumbent Cezar McKnight graduated from Kingstree Senior High School in 1992. He subsequently earned a degree in Paralegal Studies from Morris Brown College in Atlanta, graduating in 1996. McKnight attended law school at Florida Coastal School of Law and earned his degree in 2001. He began practicing law the following year, concentrating on personal injury, car wrecks and wrongful death and occasionally criminal defense. McKnight also served in the Army Reserves from 1991-99.
McKnight began to consider politics in 2008. He began fostering relationships, listening and learning.
“I looked around and didn’t like what I saw. I thought we were stuck in the past, in the old way of doing things. The trend in the world has changed,” said McKnight.
He was encouraged to run for the House in 2014 during a special election. He won and has served two consecutive two-year terms.
While in office, McKnight is proud to have been instrumental in gaining free tuition at Williamsburg Technical College for any child graduating in Williamsburg County since 2013. This is a pilot program, and if successful, it may be used as a blueprint for other counties to follow suit.
McKnight introduced the Right to Try bill, which passed in South Carolina. This bill allows terminally ill patients the right to try experimental treatments which have passed phase one of FDA trials.
“I believe life is worth fighting for,” said McKnight.
He is proud of supporting South Carolina unification efforts through taking down the Confederate flag at the Capitol Building. McKnight was also a strong proponent of the Roads Bill, which gives the counties more money to fix roads in coming years.
Should he be re-elected, when the legislature opens again, he will continue to push for a resolution to the V.C. Summers Project issue. This will stop residents from paying fees for a nuclear power plant which has been abandoned.
McKnight plans to introduce a bill for Rebuttable Presumption of Custody. This means a judge will first look to give shared custody to both parents unless factors are introduced to show why custody should not be shared.
“Children belong with their mothers, but they belong with their dads as well,” said McKnight.
He also plans to introduce a bill to make it a crime to smoke in a vehicle with small children in it.
McKnight feels his intelligence, problem-solving skills and ability to work as part of a team will continue to serve him if re-elected. He states he’s always willing to listen and humble enough to admit when he’s wrong, owning his mistakes. He asks to be judged by his record.
“I invite you to look at what I’ve done in elected office. I’ve tried to foster bridges and build relationships and do things for the betterment of the district,” said McKnight. He hopes to return to Columbia to continue the spirit of cooperation.
McKnight has fostered a close relationship with Williamsburg County Council. Although he is impressed with the Clarendon County Council, he admits he is not as close with them.
“Because I have such a small part of [Clarendon] County, I lean on Dr. Ridgeway and Senator Johnson,” said McKnight. He listens to the community but also listens to the suggestions of Ridgeway and Johnson. “Senator Johnson, Dr. Ridgeway and I work well together,” said McKnight.
Moving forward, McKnight sees more industry coming into his district, although he states it’s predicated on the success of the school districts. He is, however, greatly encouraged by the improvements in the schools during his terms.
“I see education improving. We’ve got some plants that have expanded. We have the new UPI facility in Williamsburg county. Most of our industry is hiring. Opportunity is there. I see us having more growth,” said McKnight.
McKnight is a member of the Kingstree Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. He is also a Mason and a Shriner. Active in his church, McKnight attends Bethesda United Methodist Church in Cades.
“I sincerely appreciate and am very honored by the trust [my district’s residents] have put in me in the last two terms. I’d love to go back to Columbia, and I trust that I’ve done enough to earn that vote again. I ask you to vote on June 12,” said McKnight.