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Dieterich beaten as Tonko cruises to third term

SCOTIA -- Republican challenger Bob Dieterich was unsuccessful in his attempt to unseat New York Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko in the 20th district, as the Capital District representative easily won a third term. WAMC’s Ian Pickus reports.

Dieterich, a banker, was new to politics and focused his campaign on jobs and the economy. But he had trouble getting any traction against Tonko, who has represented the area for nearly 30 years, including 25 in the state Assembly. Dieterich was outspent badly in the campaign.

He watched election results Tuesday night at a Republican viewing party, where the results were not to his liking: Tonko beat him by better than two-to-one in a district with a clear Democratic enrollment edge.

“We felt pretty strongly about our message and we knew it was resonating throughout the district, but in the end, the people of the district felt a different way,” he said. “A little disappointing, but I hope the Congressman understands the message and takes it to Washington.”

Dieterich says it’s too early to decide if he’ll run for office again. Tonko returns to Washington, where the Democrats remain in the House minority despite their presidential triumph.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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