In the House race in Staten Island, N.Y., the incumbent has pleaded not guilty to a 20-count federal indictment. His challenger has not, but has focused his entire campaign on attacking the incumbent — which often involves lots of yelling — and not saying much else.

Faced with these options, the Staten Island Advance decided to stick with the devil they knew. This was a decision that involved much clarification. Here, for your enjoyment, are some of the things an editorial board said about a candidate, Rep. Michael Grimm (R), that they were trying to get their readers to vote for (second in a series).

  • "There are, on occasion, electoral races in which both candidates are of high quality and high integrity and conduct a tough but fair campaign about the issues. . . . The election for the House of Representatives seat in the 11th New York Congressional District is nothing like that."

  • "That choice for us is Michael Grimm. Surprisingly, if a choice is to be made, Mr. Grimm should be that choice, even under these circumstances."

  • "We are not overlooking Mr. Grimm's considerable legal woes, of course. To have Staten Island's congressman under federal indictment has been a black mark on this borough and has made it the laughingstock of the nation. Unfortunately, his opponent's astonishing incoherence in public statements only adds to the ridiculousness."

  • "Stories about Mr. Grimm's extra-curricular activities are numerous."

  • "We learned that he spent considerable time in the ladies' room of a Brooklyn tavern with a female friend, who he claimed to be counseling. We heard he pulled a gun during a melee in a dance club in Manhattan. We heard him threaten to throw a reporter off a balcony because he didn't like a question posed."
  • "We have said several times in this space that Staten deserves better than this. . . . On Tuesday, Mr. Grimm is still the best practical choice for Staten Island."

Staten Island voters have had more glowing things to say about their representative over the course of the campaign. Here is a sample.

The 11th District leans Republican, and many residents dismissively note that the Democratic candidate, Domenic Recchia, is "from Brooklyn." The last poll of the race was from early September, and had Grimm up by 4 percentage points (which Jon Stewart discussed in disbelief earlier this month). A new poll is coming out Friday. 

Update: The New York Daily News published their endorsement in the 11th District race on Saturday. It has everything. Puns, a candidate they call "so dumb, ill-informed, evasive and inarticulate that voting for a thuggish Republican who could wind up in a prison jumpsuit starts to make rational sense" and a hope for a special election.

Here is the headline.