Rand Knight

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Rand Knight was a Democratic candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the Senate in Georgia. He was seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). However, he did not receive enough votes in the July primary elections to qualify him to participate in the Democratic runoff which will take place on August 5, 2008.[1]



Agriculture More than two dozen counties in South Georgia are stuck in a dangerous game of double jeopardy, having tens of millions of dollars in firefighting expenses, yet the trees needed to fund these operations are now in ashes. In addition, many of the crops that would have generated county funds can no longer be planted or were destroyed by drought and late freezes. How do we expect the schools to operate and the roads to be repaired and maintained in these counties if they are bankrupt? As a U.S. Senator from Georgia, I will make sure that there are resources available ahead of time for counties and municipalities that must face the on-the-ground consequences of land-use decisions and the effects of volatility in climate.[1]

Economy I will fight to make sure that Georgia gets the resources we need – including investments in renewable energy and other innovative technology, technology to grow our businesses and create new, higher-paying jobs. In order to attract new investments and new jobs I will work hard in the U.S. Senate to get funding to make sure that Georgia's communities are desirable places to do business by getting Federal support to maintain and update our infrastructure – including highways, bridges and water mains -- to bring new opportunities for economic development. Georgia businesses deserve to have fair access to all international markets and we must have a level playing field for our farmers, workers and labor unions. Free trade does not equal fair trade, and as a U.S. Senator, I will insist that integrated labor, environmental and socioeconomic minimum standards be a part of the trade agreements we negotiate with other countries. [2]

Education Testing does not improve achievement, but smart teacher training and program evaluation—especially in the arts, science and math—can improve curriculum and the level of achievement of our American schools. Nearly $27 billion has been withheld from America's schools because of empty promises from Washington, D.C., and there are innumerable unfunded mandates that have failed to meet the government’s commitments, especially with respect to special education. No child should be left behind, but that means we have to pay more than lip service to our commitment to children. There are several key policy areas that can make a difference, all requiring increased funding to states. [3]

Energy Independence As a U.S. Senator serving Georgia, I will support a Strategic Energy Fund with the intention of funding more $50 billion in research, development, and deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean coal technology, ethanol and other biofuels. As has been made clear by many Presidential candidates, we can create this Strategic Energy Fund without raising taxes by giving oil companies a choice: they can either invest in tangible renewable energy research and implementation themselves, or they can pay into the fund. Investing in renewable energy such as ethanol plants, biodiesel refineries, wind farms and hydrogen cells will create very good-paying jobs in GA; and becoming energy independent will help protect us from terrorism by eliminating our dependence on the Middle East. [4]

Environment The great United States can be a model for how to integrate cutting-edge technology with environmental needs and political will power if we will take on the Great Greening of America as our coming together mission of the early 21st century. There are a huge number of jobs for Georgia and significant profit in doing the right thing for the Earth by supplying Federal subsidies and tax credits to encourage investment in, and the development of green technology. Whenever the Federal government needs to spend money on infrastructure, new development or restoration, there should never be an excuse for not going Green. [5]

Ethics Reform The United States of America needs an Independent Ethics Commission. This commission would do three things: 1) practice independent enforcement; 2) allow anyone who might know something about violations by lobbyists or any member of Congress or the Administration to quickly and honestly report and document those violations; and 3) would be empowered to investigate complaints and publicly present facts about possible violations to the House and Senate Ethics Committee and Justice Department.[6]

Foreign Policy and Iraq War The United States must commit to diplomacy. Our involvement in the Iraq war needs to come to a close. The United States must re-adhere to the Geneva Convention by stopping our acts of torture; additionally we need to empower the United Nations to act on Countries which are abusing Human Rights. We must become the leader in efforts to curb global warming and move towards an era of Energy Independence. We must work to eradicate poverty and the deplorable living conditions in which many, around the world, reside. Our military must be redeployed to best protect our homeland, at home. [7]

Health Care As a U.S. Senator, I will go to bat for the citizens of our great state every day, to ensure that we are moving forward on our path towards fully accessible health insurance and medical care for all who desire it. Prescription drugs must be made cheaper, and we must have answers for why there has been price gouging. Healthcare awareness and delivery to minorities and other underserved groups is completely lacking and must be addressed for the United States to make any headway towards increasing quality of life for the population as a whole. My goal as a U.S. Senator is nothing less than for every American to have quality, affordable health care. [8]

Immigration I have enormous amount of respect for the incredibly hard work that immigrant workers do to keep our Georgia economy ticking, but I do not believe that illegal immigrants should ever receive priority health or education benefits over tax-paying American citizens. Furthermore, while I speak almost fluent Spanish and have for 20 years, I also believe that immigrants who attend taxpayer–supported public schools in the United States should learn English. If America is indeed a melting pot of diversity and cultural riches, then the mosaic of segregated languages and cultures must begin to unify and agree speak the same language and do what is right for the common good of all. [9]

Social Security & Seniors I will oppose the current administration's scheme to privatize Social Security unless it is modified to provide more protections including a guaranteed income level at retirement based on the contributions retirees have made all their working lives. Currently, the ideas for social security transformation would require trillions of dollars of borrowing in order to make the shift to privatization, while simultaneously diverting billions of dollars out of Social Security to put at risk in the stock market. That’s just wrong. Without a bipartisan solution, Social Security will be at risk again sometime in the future, and we need a true long-term solution. [10]

Stem Cell Research As a U.S. Senator I will never stop working to persuade other Senators and the Administration to fully fund embryonic stem cell research. I will push hard for legislation that makes the most use of existing embryos that are slated for disposal. If necessary, I will attach stem cell legislation to a must-pass bill, or I will hold hearings featuring patients that might have a chance to live with stem cell research, and they can speak directly to the ignorance and arrogance of research opponents. [11]

The Green Deal Energy, Water, the War in Iraq, Healthcare, Education, the Economy and Jobs: these issues are not mutually exclusive, but literally one single issue. Rand Knight’s proposal for solving this one, over-arching issue, is called ‘The Green Deal’. The Green Deal is a vision for a new future. One in which a strong green economy provides opportunity and security for all Americans. [12]

Women’s Rights & Reproductive Freedom We need to keep politicians and government out of women’s personal decisions about whether or not to have an abortion, which should be made by a woman, her doctor, her family, and her God. We also need to be more actively involved in preventing unintended pregnancies and reducing the need for abortions by increasing access to family planning and comprehensive age appropriate sex education. [13]

Working Families Rand Knight recognizes the economic decline that is happening in the United States and the problems facing American Workers. Now is the time for America to turn to domestic energy sources in order to curb our dependence on foreign oil and stimulate our economy. This can be done through the growth of “Green Collar Jobs”. As an Ecologist and Forester with a business background, Rand Knight is prepared to establish Georgia as an Alternative Energy Resource for the state, as well as the nation, which would put us at the forefront of the country’s next major Industrial Revolution- “The Green Deal”. [14]


Franklin Randolph “Rand” Knight Jr. was born in Atlanta, GA as the first son of Judy Mozen and Randy Knight. His roots in Georgia go back more than fifteen generations on his father’s side, and his mother’s family can be traced all the way back to the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. Truly a son of Georgia, Rand developed a love for nature swimming and fishing in Georgia’s lakes and marshes and hiking and camping in the mountains and forests. Rand’s upbringing and family history also instilled in him the value of education, public service, and hard work. With the help of loans and financial aid, he attended The Westminster Schools in Atlanta from kindergarten through graduation. Rand spent his school breaks working as a carpenter’s apprentice, camping with his family, or visiting family in Brunswick, where his grandfather ran a butcher’s shop and delivered milk.

After graduating from Westminster, Rand attended Middlebury College in Vermont, but first he spent a summer interning under the vice president of Environmental Policy at Turner Productions while also selling clothes at Rich’s and working as a cook at Applebees. While attending Middlebury, Rand continued working several jobs in order to help pay his way through school. He worked more than 30 hours a week for Apple Computer, was a spokesperson for Middlebury at recruiting events, and was active in student government all while earning B.A. with Honors in Environmental Studies. Rand completed his Master’s of Science at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1997, and it was during this time that he had his first taste of entrepreneurship, building a sustainable development in real estate business.

After working for several years as an ecologist with the US Forest Service and as a manager and businessman in the private sector, Rand continued his formal education and earned a Ph.D. in Ecosystems Analysis at the University of Washington in 2003. Rand has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Institute of Biological Sciences in Washington, D.C., and as a Scientist who helped get line-item legislative approval for the $1 billion National Ecological Observatory Network from the Executive branch and Congress.

Currently, Rand is a director at QL2, working in National Security technology and consulting. In his years as a businessman in technology and consulting, Rand has developed a skill for diagnosing difficult problems and proposing innovative solutions. Of all the skills he’s gained through his many years of education and business experience, Rand counts listening as the most important. Listening carefully and thoughtfully is absolutely a key trait for him to truly grasp the problem, craft the solution, and understand how to implement it in the most beneficial way for everyone. Now, Rand is ready to use his expertise and problem-solving experience in the service of his home state, following in the footsteps of his political heroes, Sam Nunn and Richard Russell

2008 elections

Knight was seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) in the 2008 congressional elections.[2][3][4][5][6][7] However, he did not receive enough votes in the July primary elections to qualify him to participate in the Democratic runoff which will take place on August 5, 2008.[1]


  • Ronald Cain – 8th Congressional Dist. Democratic candidate in 1998 (against Saxby Chambliss) [15]
  • Keith Johnson – Economic Justice Coalition [16]
  • Pamela King – Director of Organizing, IAM Local 141 [17]
  • Tom Morse – Executive Director of Global Preservation Projects [18]
  • Tim Sweeny – Past President of IAFF Local 2980 [19]
  • Former Georgia Congresswoman Denise Majette [20]
  • Georgia's Largest Teamster Local 728 [21]

Money in politics

Information on this candidate's 2008 fundraising is not yet available. Stay tuned for live feeds of data from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.

Committees and affiliations


Knight will be assigned committees if and when he is elected to Congress.


More background data


Mailing Address:
Knight for U.S. Senate
3340 Peachtree Road, NE
Suite 1800
Atlanta, Georgia 30326

Office Phone: 404-254-2870
Office Fax: 888-375-3022

Articles and resources

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Shannon McCaffrey, " 5 incumbents beat back challengers in Ga. primary," Associated Press, accessed via The Washington Post, July 16, 2008.
  2. 2008 Race Tracker page on Georgia's Senate Race
  3. Official Rand Knight for Senate website
  4. "Rand Knight Announces for Georgia Senate Race," DailyKos, June 7, 2007.
  5. "An Ecologist Running for Senate in Georgia," DailyKos, June 7, 2007.
  6. "GA Senate Candidates," MyDD, June 8, 2007.
  7. "Rand Knight Announces," Blog for Democracy, June 7, 2007.

External resources

External articles