CAPITAL DISTRICT U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, comfortably secured another term in the House of Representatives in the redrawn 20th Congressional District, his third congressional victory.
Unofficial election results showed Tonko with more than double the votes of Robert Dieterich, R-Glenville, with a roughly 100,000 vote lead. Tonko captured the most votes in each of the district’s five counties: Montgomery, Schenectady, Saratoga, Albany and Rensselaer.
“I am very humbled by the support shown and I am very thankful and grateful to the district that I can return to Washington and continue to be their representative,” Tonko said.
In Albany County, Tonko had more than 87,000 votes, or 74 percent of the total. In Schenectady County, Tonko took 37,500 votes, or 67 percent; in Rensselaer County he lead with 70 percent of the votes; in Montgomery County, Tonko captured around 63 percent of votes; and in Saratoga County the gap was the narrowest, with Tonko garnering around 33,250 votes and Dietrich trailing by 10,000 votes.
During the campaign, both candidates attempted to align their opponent with destructive Washington politics and what they saw as the opposing party’s weakest points. Tonko pointed to the Ryan budget plan and Dieterich said the government is overspending and increasing the national debt.
Patrick Ziegler, campaign manager for Dieterich, said the overwhelming Democratic district and presidential election were two challenges facing the Republican.
“Obviously we are very disappointed,” Ziegler said. “We did it on a much lower budget than Congressman Tonko had to work with.”
Ziegler said Tonko and Dieterich both ran positive campaigns and avoided the “nasty” political advertisements appearing in other local races. Tonko echoed Ziegler’s sentiment and was pleased to see a “positive campaign” from his opponent.
Getting Dietrich’s name out to voters was a challenge in itself, Ziegler said.
“He didn’t come in with high name recognition, he didn’t come in as an elected official, so the financial resources was an important aspect of the campaign,” Ziegler said.