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Democrat

Rep. Paul Tonko (D)

Paul Tonko Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-5076

Address: 2463 RHOB, DC 20515

Websites: tonko.house.gov
State Office Contact Information

Phone: (518) 465-0700

Address: 61 Columbia Street, Albany NY 12210-2749

Amsterdam NY

Phone: (518) 843-3400

Fax: (518) 843-8874

Address: 61 Church Street, Amsterdam NY 12010-4424

Schenectady NY

Phone: (518) 374-4547

Fax: (518) 374-7908

Address: 105 Jay Street, Schenectady NY 12305-1905

Paul Tonko Staff
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Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Duhovny, Emily
Legislative Aide
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Smith, Marilyn
Grants Coordinator; Business Liaison
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Smith, Marilyn
Grants Coordinator; Business Liaison
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Duhovny, Emily
Legislative Aide
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Duhovny, Emily
Legislative Aide
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Smith, Marilyn
Grants Coordinator; Business Liaison
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Smith, Marilyn
Grants Coordinator; Business Liaison
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Duhovny, Emily
Legislative Aide
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Duhovny, Emily
Legislative Aide
Bennett, Diana
Outreach Coordinator; Field Representative
Britt, Clinton
Chief of Staff
Digan, Kathleen
District Operations Coordinator; District Scheduler
Duhovny, Emily
Legislative Aide
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Henry, Lucas
Staff Assistant
Johnson, James
Staff Assistant
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Magers, Sean
Communications Director
Mastrangelo, David
Director of Operations; Scheduler
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Shortell, Sean
District Director
Smith, Marilyn
Grants Coordinator; Business Liaison
Duhovny, Emily
Legislative Aide
Britt, Clinton
Chief of Staff
Magers, Sean
Communications Director
Bennett, Diana
Outreach Coordinator; Field Representative
Digan, Kathleen
District Operations Coordinator; District Scheduler
Smith, Marilyn
Grants Coordinator; Business Liaison
Morgan, Jeff
Legislative Counsel
Mastrangelo, David
Director of Operations; Scheduler
Shortell, Sean
District Director
Larkin, Brendan
Legislative Assistant
Fruci, Jean
Legislative Director
Smith, Marilyn
Grants Coordinator; Business Liaison
Bennett, Diana
Outreach Coordinator; Field Representative
Digan, Kathleen
District Operations Coordinator; District Scheduler
Mastrangelo, David
Director of Operations; Scheduler
Henry, Lucas
Staff Assistant
Johnson, James
Staff Assistant
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Paul Tonko Committees
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Paul Tonko Biography
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  • Elected: 2008, 3rd term.
  • District: New York 20
  • Born: Jun. 18, 1949, Amsterdam
  • Home: Amsterdam
  • Education:

    Clarkson U., B.S. 1981

  • Professional Career:

    NY Dept. of Transportation, 1972-74; NY Dept. of Public Service, 1974-83; Pres. & CEO, NY St. Energy Research & Development Authority, 2007-08

  • Political Career:

    Montgomery Cnty Bd. of Supervisors, 1974-83, Chmn. 1981; NY Assembly, 1983-2007

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Single

Democrat Paul Tonko, elected in 2008, came to Congress with an extensive background in energy issues and parlayed his expertise into a seat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee. Read More

Democrat Paul Tonko, elected in 2008, came to Congress with an extensive background in energy issues and parlayed his expertise into a seat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.

The grandson of Polish immigrants, Tonko was born in the old mill town of Amsterdam, N.Y., where he still lives. His working-class background gave him an appreciation for the “underdog” that remains the underpinning of his political beliefs. Attracted from a young age to public service, he built his career in state government, first at the New York Department of Transportation and then as an engineer at the Department of Public Service, the state’s utilities regulator.

In 1974, at age 26, he became the youngest person ever elected to the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. He became board chairman in 1981. Tonko won a seat in the New York Assembly in a 1983 special election and served for nearly a quarter century. He won passage of a law requiring health insurers to cover most mental illnesses and another requiring social workers to report all cases of suspected child abuse to the state. But he exercised his greatest influence over state energy policy, serving as chairman of the Assembly’s energy committee from 1992 to 2007, when he resigned to accept an appointment as head of the state’s Energy Research and Development Authority.

When Democratic Rep. Michael McNulty decided against seeking an 11th term in 2008, Tonko got into the contest to succeed him. In the primary, he faced Phil Steck, an Albany County legislator, and Tracey Brooks, a former staffer for New York Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton. Both enjoyed a head start raising money. But most of the local Democratic establishment lined up behind Tonko. He also won important union endorsements, as well as the backing of the state’s Working Families Party. With few differences between the candidates on major issues, the local support likely made the difference. Outraised and outspent by both Brooks and Steck, Tonko sailed to victory over both.

In the general election, Tonko faced Republican Jim Buhrmaster, a Schenectady County legislator who hoped that his appeal to independents would help him overcome the registration advantage for Democrats in the district. But Tonko won with 62% of the vote. Buhrmaster received 35%, and Steck, who ran as an independent, got 3%.

In the House, Tonko was among those tied for most-liberal House member in 2011, according to National Journal’s annual rankings. (He dropped to 98th in 2012 after taking some moderate positions on social legislation.) He has focused on the issue he knows best, energy policy. Shortly after joining Energy and Commerce in late 2012, he was appointed as ranking Democrat on the panel’s Environment and the Economy Subcommittee, where he is at the vanguard of defending against frequent GOP attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2011, he sponsored an amendment to a spending bill seeking to protect EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions. He also has sought to undo Republican cutbacks to the Weatherization Assistance Program helping low-income families and the elderly save money by improving their homes’ energy efficiency through insulation and by replacing windows and doors. He joined Republican Rep. Chris Gibson on a 2011 bill to simplify and improve the tax credit for fuel cell-powered industrial vehicles.

Earlier, he got a bill through the House in September 2009 creating an $800 million research program in wind energy technologies, which would benefit GE in his district. Another of his bills, which passed the same year, created a research program to improve the efficiency of gas turbines used in power generation systems that convert heat into energy. In 2010, Tonko got a provision in a House-passed oil spill bill following the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico to speed up the response to future spills.

On other issues, Tonko worked to expand low-income children’s access to healthy meals and to improve engineering education in schools. His efforts to rein in pay for government contractors have won him some attention. In 2012, he and Democrat Jackie Speier called for capping salaries for contracting executives at the rate of the president’s annual salary of $400,000, down from a maximum allowable level of $770,000. But Republicans blocked them from offering their amendment on the floor as part of the fiscal 2013 defense bill.

Tonko has had little trouble winning reelection. Albany Times Union columnist Marv Cermak described him in 2011 as “a super-duper campaigner who shows up all over the place” and said, “If there is a chink in his armor, colleagues and media types agree it’s his penchant for long-winded speeches.”

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Paul Tonko Election Results
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2012 General
Paul Tonko (D)
Votes: 203,400
Percent: 68.44%
Robert Dieterich (R)
Votes: 93,778
Percent: 31.56%
2012 Primary
Paul Tonko (D)
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (59%), 2008 (62%)
Paul Tonko Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 91 (L) : - (C) 76 (L) : 23 (C) 92 (L) : - (C)
Social 87 (L) : 7 (C) 67 (L) : 33 (C) 80 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 89 (L) : 10 (C) 92 (L) : 8 (C) 88 (L) : - (C)
Composite 91.7 (L) : 8.3 (C) 78.5 (L) : 21.5 (C) 93.3 (L) : 6.7 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC100
LCV9794
CFG1115
ITIC-67
NTU1517
20112012
COC19-
ACLU-100
ACU40
ADA10095
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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