Two years after the Tea Party surge helped to double the Republican caucus in the state House of Representatives, Democrats are trying to beat back legislative gains by conservatives, while women’s rights groups are hoping to retain their majority in favor of abortion rights in the Legislature. Some of the hottest races to watch are rematches between candidates who faced showdowns in 2010. In the Senate, Senate President Therese Murray, a Plymouth Democrat, faces a second duel with Thomas Keyes, a Sandwich Republican who nearly displaced her by claiming 48 percent of the vote last time.
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