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Byline: Cynthia Burton, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Jan. 1--During his five years in the Legislature, the Republican state senator from Union County got 5 percent of his bills signed into law, ranking him in the bottom third of his 119 peers. Now, he wants to be the U.S. senator from New Jersey. As he hits the campaign trail in 2006, stumping for the seat being vacated by Gov.-elect Jon S. Corzine, State Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr. plans to argue that he will be an effective legislator in Washington. Along the way, Kean will likely bump into Democrats who plan to knock him as being unprepared for the job.
"Tom is a smart, thoughtful, good, decent person -- I like him a lot," said state Sen. Joseph Vitale (D., Middlesex). "It's a quantum leap from Trenton to Washington. People who are intelligent and competent and thoughtful can be successful, but that particular job requires not only all those qualities but also a …