When you run for Congress, you should meet two basic criteria:
You should have a solid grasp of the problems facing your district. And you should be serious about solving them.
In the race for the 20th Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Paul Tonko meets both of those criteria.
For the past decade, Rep. Paul Tonko has been a reliable representative for his district, working on issues such as climate change, renewable energy, expansion of broadband coverage into rural areas, and funding of infrastructure projects that would support needed upgrades and serve as a de facto jobs program to help the nation recover from covid.
He’s led the effort in the House of Representatives on limousine safety following the 2018 Schoharie crash and is at the forefront of safety reforms to the horse racing industry through the Horse Racing Integrity Act.
Tonko has used his many years of experience in local and state government to get a solid understanding of his constituents’ needs and how to work within a complex, often dysfunctional political system.
Tonko’s opponent in the race, Republican newcomer Liz Joy, a real estate agent and blogger with no government experience, offers little to counter Tonko’s decades of experience and knowledge.
Especially in these challenging times and amid political upheaval, Congress is no place for a novice to experiment with a political career.
Among her solutions for the nation’s economy, for example, is full reopening of all businesses and schools, dismissive of the fact that we’re in the middle of a deadly and growing pandemic.
Her plan for healthcare involves repealing Obamacare and letting the private sector work out a cost-effective, full-service solution – including the option to add parents to their adult children’s insurance coverage. If private insurance companies had been willing to offer expansive coverage at a low cost, there would have been no need for Obamacare in the first place.
Joy blames New York’s controversial bail reform law on a “perpetual state of terror” from the recent rise in violent crime, without offering evidence to back up her claims that the reforms are directly responsible for a surge in violence.
While the law has flaws, which we have pointed out ourselves in editorials, that kind of alarmist language is pandering, not problem-solving.
Paul Tonko offers a long record of experience, knowledge and passion for government that his opponent can’t match.
Voters in the 20th Congressional District should return Tonko to Congress on Election Day.