Paul David Tonko (born June 18, 1949) is the U.S. Representative from New York's 20th congressional district, a post he has held since 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district, numbered as the 21st for his first two terms, is located in the heart of the Capital District and includes Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Tonko previously represented the 105th District in the New York Assembly from 1983 to 2007.
Tonko was president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, from 2007 until his resignation on April 25, 2008. He soon after declared his candidacy for Congress and was first elected in 2008.
Tonko is a lifelong resident of Amsterdam, New York, near Schenectady. He holds a degree in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from Clarkson University. He is primarily of Polish descent. In the 21st century he learned that he was also descended from Solomon Northrup, kidnapped and sold into slavery, and author of Twelve Years a Slave after he regained freedom...
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