The Daily Gazette
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Tonko makes a benign TV commercial

If you wondered what kind of political ad a candidate with a massive fundraising advantage, an enrollment advantage and the incumbency advantage would make, then wonder no more, because U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko has made that commercial.

The two term Democratic incumbent from Amsterdam is on the air, in a television advertisement that is available below.

Tonko is running against Glenville Republican Bob Dieterich for the 20th Congressional District.

There is no mention of Dieterich or any policies in the 30-second spot, but it is an extremely positive opportunity to get to know Tonko.

"I live on the same street where I grew up," says Tonko in a voiceover as he gets into his car. "And even though I commute to Washington for work, I like it best back here with my friends and neighbors."

Tonko's fundraising has dwarfed Dieterich's, and it was a point of contention in a candidate forum on Tuesday night, when they exchanged verbal blows.

Tonko noted that Dieterich has the support of a banking group. Dieterich said that support was only about $5,000, just a fraction of the money raised by Tonko's campaign from trade and lobby groups. Tonko countered that a large percentage of his donors are individuals giving in small amounts, with some people apologizing that they couldn't give more.

The ad also is a reflection of Tonko's status as frontrunner in the heavily Democratic district. He doesn't need to attack Dieterich, but can merely promote himself and hold on to his likely lead.

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