Tonko, a Democrat from Amsterdam, served for over two decades in the New York State Assembly before becoming the President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in 2007. In 2008, he replaced retiring Congressman Mike McNulty by defeating Jim Buhrmaster in the November election. He currently serves in Congress on the Committee on Natural Resources as well as the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Republican Bob Dieterich is a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the First National Bank of Scotia. In 2011, the Capital District Business Review named him its CFO of the Year in the under $20 million business category. The Capital District native also served for a decade as a member of the 109th Airlift Wing, New York Air National Guard.
Due to redistricting, a legislative process that happens every decade after census figures are tallied, the makeup of the 20th district is different from its previous form. You can check out the entire district here.
This is the third consecutive election year that WMHT has held a debate for this Congressional seat, including in 2010 when Rep. Tonko eventually defeated Ted Danz. The hour long debate was taped as a New York NOW Special Edition and was moderated by co-host Casey Seiler, also State Editor at the Times Union. Panelists included New York NOW Managing Editor Matt Ryan, Walt McClure of FOX23 News, and Marie Cusick from the Innovation Trail.