Taro Knight

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Taro Knight
Former candidate for
North Carolina House of Representatives, District 23
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sNorth Carolina Central University
ProfessionSchool administrator
Campaign website
Taro Knight was a 2014 Democratic candidate for District 23 of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Knight is currently serving his second term as both Ward 7 Councilman and Mayor Pro-Tem in Tarboro, where he was also acting mayor for the last 5 months of 2013.[1]


Knight earned his bachelor's degree from North Carolina Central University and attended University of Tennessee, East Carolina University and Chowan University. His professional experience includes working as the Director of Community Relations/Middle School and Operations at North East Carolina Prep School.[1]


Campaign themes


Knight's campaign website highlighted the following issues:[2]


  • Excerpt: "I believe that North Carolina must have an outstanding public education system that includes exceptional traditional and public charter schools, outstanding community colleges, and strong, affordable and competent public universities, in order to produce the skilled and educated workforce needed in the 21st century. To accomplish this we must reward teachers with higher salaries, tenure, and performance increases that are not solely tied to standardized tests but rather to the overall academic progress of their students."

Economic Development

  • Excerpt: "I believe that excellence in public education is essential if we are to have a strong economic development effort in District 23. We must develop assistance for workers; have a balanced approach to offering incentives to grow local industry and to attract new ones. These incentives should always be tied to new job creation for the citizens of District 23. I also believe that government must provide a safety net covering the basic human needs of all those in need. I believe that ALL people should have the opportunity to develop their talents and abilities. Therefore, I would support any legislation that enhances the ability of formerly incarcerated persons or anyone on public assistance to gain employment or acquire the necessary skills to enter into the workforce. Our citizens with convictions or those that are unemployed or underemployed should have the same access to opportunity as every other North Carolinian."

Health and Wellness

  • Excerpt: "I believe that education and economic development are also universally tied to access to quality health care regardless of a person’s income or location. I will support efforts to expand Medicaid and ensure that seniors with Medicare never have to worry about their coverage being privatized. I also believe in a mental health system that provides a comprehensive array of services with access to treatment for mental, behavioral, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. Insurance must cover all physical and mental health disorders."



See also: North Carolina House of Representatives elections, 2014

Elections for the office of North Carolina House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election took place on May 6, 2014. The general election took place on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was February 28, 2014. Shelly Willingham and Rusty Holderness defeated Taro Knight and Bronson Williams in the Democratic primary. Willingham defeated Holderness in the July 15 run-off primary and was unchallenged in the general election.[3][4][5][6][7]

North Carolina House of Representatives, District 23 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngShelly Willingham (advanced to runoff) 35.6% 2,978
Green check mark transparent.pngRusty Holderness (advanced to runoff) 30.4% 2,543
Taro Knight 20.5% 1,715
Bronson Williams 13.5% 1,126
Total Votes 8,362
North Carolina House of Representatives, District 23, Run-off Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngShelly Willingham (advanced to general election) 52.2% 2,702
Rusty Holderness 47.8% 2,478
Total Votes 5,180


Knight and his wife, Kimberly, have three children (Zaneta, D’Andre, Jordan) and two grandchildren. He is also a member of the Carolinas Gateway Partnerships’ Board of Directors, the economic development agency for Edgecombe and Nash counties.[1]

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