Clean campaign in NJ? Good luck with that.

First off, let me say that The Star-Ledger is a strong newspaper that does an excellent job, especially when it comes to covering state government and politics. But their editorial page had a headline that made me laugh out loud today.

The headline, at least online, was this: Congratulations Chris Christie and Gov. Jon Corzine: Now, let's keep the campaign clean.

The editorial urged the two candidates for governor to focus on issues and avoid mud-slinging. That's a nice idea.

But I've covered two statewide races here (governor in 2005 and U.S. Senate in 2006), and by the end, both required HAZMAT suits.

I know that doesn't mean every race is the same, but consider a Democratic party desperate to hang on to every branch of state government and a Republican party hungry for its first win in more than a decade, and smelling blood, and I'll say it won't take long for this race to get nasty.

Genteel Jersey politics? I wouldn't count on it.

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