Updated 11/06/2012 08:44 AM
Tonko and Dieterich for the 20th Congressional district
The 20th Congressional seat is made up of parts of Montgomery, Schenectady, Saratoga, Albany and Rensselaer counties. The race pins a longtime political figure against a political new comer. Erin Vannella reports.
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NEW YORK -- Meet Republican candidate for the 21st turned 20th Congressional District, Bob Dieterich and Democrat incumbent, Paul Tonko.
"Everything I've done has brought me to this point," Dieterich said. "I've been chairman of the finance committee of my church."
"The experience that I have is well suited to the committee assignments that I have," said Tonko.
Both candidates call on a different bank of experience to support their qualifications for the job. A CFO and 10-year veteran of the Air National Guard, Dieterich is a relative newcomer to the political stage. Tonko has held the seat since 2008. Both focus on the economy.
"I think we need to immediately extend all the current tax rates that have been in place for 11 years and then we need a complete overhaul of our tax system," said Dieterich.
"I don't think we can go forward with tax cuts that would be applied to millionaires and billionaire," said Tonko. "We cannot afford that spending."
They share opinions on small business and jobs.
"I think if we can have a friendlier business environment and taxes that make sense, then we move to the education piece, that's one of the most important things we can do," said Dieterich.
"We are the hub of the fastest growing job count in the country for clean energy, ideas economy, innovation jobs, high tech jobs," said Tonko. "And so the assignments and the experience I've had are tailored to the needs of this district."
On healthcare, Dieterich wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Tonko only offers improvements to it. The two support community colleges locally, medicare nationally, and say they want to help the middle class. It's up to voters who will lead those efforts.