Most candidates are forced to spend time together during their campaigns. By the way the 4th Congressional District opponents are conducting themselves, it would seem that they actually enjoy it.
Republican candidate Gerald Boyle and Democrat Gwen Moore pledged immediately after the primaries to refrain from running a negative campaign.
"We're not going to advance the cause by going negative," Boyle said. "That's when you get muddled in the life of dirty politics."
Both camps agreed that the campaign should be about differences on the issues.
"Senator Moore really, genuinely likes [Boyle]," said Lois O'Keefe, spokesperson for the Moore campaign. "In fact he invited her to, and she went to his wedding."
Moore told UW-Milwaukee students during one debate that she didn't use the wedding to get votes, but rather to congratulate the Boyles on a happy marriage and also to eat.
"It was the best meal I've had in months," Moore said.
The worst attacks during the campaign have come from the voters. Boyle has participated in a couple call-in radio shows where callers disputed his military record. Boyle served as major while fighting for the U.S. 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Iraq.
Boyle also got spit on. A graduate student from UW-Milwaukee argued with Boyle about the war after one debate, calling it imperialistic. Boyle disagreed, saying it was for freedom, and he got spit on for it.
"It's sad when people have to not think rationally and then engage in irrational acts," Boyle said. He did not react to the spitting and joked that it was his years of military discipline that kept him under control.
At almost every debate, Moore credits Boyle for his military service and often refers to him as "Major Boyle.'' Likewise, Boyle says nice things about Moore.
"It's good for both candidates," said O'Keefe, "and it raises the bar. This has been the friendliest campaign I've ever seen, and I enjoy being a part of it because of it."
The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of OnMilwaukee.com, its advertisers or editorial staff.
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