The Staten Island Advance is begrudgingly endorsing embattled Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) for reelection, offering him faint praise in his battle with former New York City Councilman Domenic Recchia (D).

But the editorial board demands that Grimm step down from office if he's convicted of the charges against him, regardless of whether he faces jail time.

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The board laments the fact that the race, one of the most contentious in the nation, isn't one where "both candidates are of high quality and high integrity." 

And it notes the fact that Grimm was indicted on 20 counts, including mail fraud and perjury, but finds the fact that Recchia is a "career Brooklyn Democratic pol" who "knows little about" the district more distasteful.

"Surprisingly, if a choice is to be made, Mr. Grimm should be that choice, even under these circumstances," the editorial board writes.

The board praises Grimm's grasp of the issues, says he's "in tune with the needs of his district" and he has a "good" record on constituent service, especially with the damage done by Hurricane Sandy.

"Most people could do without his incessant parroting of lurid GOP attacks on the administration, but no one can say he doesn't know what he's talking about," the board writes.

In comparison, Recchia, the board says, has run a negative campaign largely focused on Grimm's issues that has caused some to suspect "that his grasp of the issues is uncertain, at best," and shows "he doesn't bring much to the table."

"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," the board writes.

Grimm has always been a top target for Democrats, but their hopes of taking him down grew with the news of his indictment in April. He's remained competitive in polling, however, with many voters in the district expressing a willingness to overlook his indiscretions.