Gov. James McGreevey, who after his election decried politicization of the Supreme Court by his predecessor, last Wednesday nominated a longtime Democratic political ally from Middlesex County to fill a Republican vacancy.

McGreevey’s decision to nominate Barry Albin, 50, of Woodbridge, came as no surprise. Since McGreevey was elected last year, speculation had been widespread that Albin, a close friend and a longtime supporter, would be named a justice or attorney general.