Caforio said in an interview that he will campaign on improving the economy for the middle class and protecting Social Security, common themes for Democratic candidates. He specifically criticized Knight for writing a letter asking the Department of Labor to reconsider an overtime pay rule, and said Knight is going "the wrong way" and has "all the wrong priorities" on the issues.
Knight is among the most vulnerable Republican incumbents in the House — national Democrats have labeled him a top potential takeover while the National Republican Congressional Committee has identified him as one of the members in need of extra campaign assistance to preserve the GOP majority.
He raised about $28,150 during the first quarter of the year but picked up the pace when Republican allies, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, provided a surge of donations to the campaign, according to campaign finance records. Last quarter he reported raising just over $77,000 and had $359,804 in cash on hand at the end of September.
Caforio's nascent campaign has raised $50,000, according to a press release that will be issued Thursday morning. Democratic media firm Kully Hall Struble is working with the campaign.
"He starts with an enormous amount of name ID. He is comfortably ahead of a lot his opponents," Knight's political consultant, Matt Rexroad, said in an interview this fall.
Before coming to Congress, Knight served on the Palmdale City Council and represented the north Los Angeles County area in both the state Assembly and Senate. Knight's father, the late William J. "Pete" Knight, was a former Air Force test pilot and Republican state senator in the Antelope Valley. The congressional candidate's campaign site features a photo of the younger Knight standing in front of a mural of his father.
"I have a history of taking on the toughest fights," Caforio said, referring to his career in commercial litigation, including suing Swiss Bank UBS on behalf of an investor.
Read more about the 55 members of California's delegation at latimes.com/politics.