AMSTERDAM?- Democrat Paul D. Tonko of Amsterdam has claimed a solid victory in the race for the new 20th Congressional District.
Tonko, a veteran of the state Assembly who now represents New York's 21st Congressional District, soundly defeated Bob Dieterich, a Glenville Republican who ran with the support of the Conservative Party.
Tonko secured 187,651 votes over Dieterich's 86,640 - a 68 percent-to-32 percent split.
"I'm humbled by it and very gratified to the voters," Tonko said of his victory Tuesday, saying he also was thankful that he and his opponent ran positive campaigns.
"I think these voters deserve nothing less," he said.
Tonko, whose campaign spending outpaced his opponent's nearly 4-1, was born in Amsterdam and has been in politics for more than 25 years. Before serving in Washington, he served in the state Assembly from 1983 to 2007 and was president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority from 2007 to 2008.
He has been serving the 21st Congressional District since 2009. He is a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
He is the ranking member of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.
Dieterich, raised in Glenville, is the senior vice president and chief financial officer for the First National Bank of Scotia. He served in the New York Air National Guard for more than a decade, rising to the rank of captain. He also served on the Glenville Zoning Board of Appeals and was chairman of the Independent Bankers Association.
Dieterich was unavailable for comment Tuesday and this morning.
The new 20th Congressional District will include all of Albany and Schenectady counties and portions of Rensselaer, Saratoga and Montgomery counties. Representatives serve two-year terms and are paid a base salary of $174,000 per year.