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Tonko defeats Fischer in 20th Congressional District

Tonko defeats Fischer in 20th Congressional District

Amsterdam native Paul Tonko, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Jim Fischer to serve another

Amsterdam native Paul Tonko, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger Jim Fischer to serve another term as the representative of the 20th Congressional District.

Fischer conceded to Tonko at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday night. Tonko maintained a comfortable lead at that time with 268 of 632 districts reporting the congressman up about 62 percent to 33 percent.

“I look forward to continuing to serve the 20th Congressional District,” Tonko said Tuesday night. “I think we have great opportunity here to create jobs and to earn a paycheck, which has been the message of my campaign. I want to grow the middle class and support the middle class. We need to grow this economy.”

Tonko has served in Congress since 2009. The 20th Congressional District is home to more than 700,000 people in all of Albany and Schenectady counties and parts of Montgomery, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties.

Tonko said he is looking to boost confidence in the economy by working to lower taxes, create jobs and support small businesses. He is also focused on continuing to grow the technology and manufacturing sectors in the Capital Region and the Mohawk Valley.

Throughout his campaign, Fischer slammed Tonko for failing to provide assistance to struggling cities like Amsterdam. Tonko said he has been pushing for federal aid in Congress for infrastructure improvements in the city and others throughout the region.

“I already sponsored a bill on water and sewer infrastructure,” Tonko said. “We in this region should have the ability to grow communities in that regard. That will be a major focus of my work.”

Before Congress, Tonko served in the state Assembly for more than 20 years. He was also president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

“I conceded to him and I went to bed last night thinking that I worked as hard as I possibly could,” Fischer said Tuesday night. “There is nothing I could have done differently. You can’t defeat the enrollment advantage in this district. But I’m very proud of what I have done.”

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