By: Emily DeFranco
Rep. Paul Tonko will enter his fourth term as representative of New York’s 20th Congressional District defeating Jim Fischer in the 2014 midterm election.
Tonko, D-Amsterdam, received 118,993 votes winning him 61 percent of the district’s votes while Fischer received 75,491 votes, putting him at 39 percent, according to The Associated Press.
Tonko is the first upstate New York Democratic member of the Energy and Commerce Committee – the oldest committee in the House – since 1966 and has served six years as congressional representative. Tonko is a lifelong resident of Amsterdam and holds a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering from Clarkson University. He was previously a member and chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors and also worked for a brief time as an engineer for the New York State Department of Public Service.
Tonko ran on a platform that focused primarily on energy and the environment as well as jobs and economic development.
Tonko promises policies that invest in clean and efficient energy. He said on his campaign website that New Yorkers must begin to move away from their dependence on fossil fuels and invest in new models that focus on wind, solar, and hydro sources of energy. With this process, Tonko says, “we create jobs, grow the economy, enhance public health, and make the environment a better place to live for our kids and grandkids.”
Jim Fischer, the Republican challenger, was born and raised in Schenectady, spent years in the wireless communications industry and successfully pursued a dream of starting his own business, Crystal Clear Communications.
Fischer’s platform highlighted concerns for the economy and job stability where he said he planned to fight for federal resources to rebuild the state’s failing infrastructure and push for a pro-growth economic agenda to create good-paying jobs, raise wages, reduce dependency on government programs and lower the national deficit. He had also planned to enforce term limits, cut taxes, repair state infrastructure and rework Common Core.
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