Bob McKnight was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, representing South Miami Dade County, in 1974. He was one of two freshman members to Chair a Subcommittee in his first session. McKnight was selected by his colleagues as the Most Effective First Term Member, Runner Up.
He was re-elected without opposition to the House in 1976 and again Chaired a major Subcommittee during that term..
In 1978, McKnight defeated two State Senators to win a four year seat representing Miami Dade County and the Florida Keys. McKnight was one of two members in the History of the Florida Senate to Chair the Committee on Health and Rehabilitative Services (HRS) Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee funding HRS and the Criminal Justice System, at the same time.
Senator McKnight was nominated as the Outstanding Member of the Florida Senate by the Tampa Bay Times. He was also selected by his colleagues as the Outstanding First Term Member of the Senate, Runner Up. In a Florida Trend poll of the Legislature, McKnight was "Admired for dedication, honesty, integrity and regard for the public welfare."
He was selected by the Florida Jaycees as one of the 5 Outstanding Young Floridians in 1980.
McKnight is a graduate of Florida Southern College and has an MBA from Florida State University.