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The Boston Globe

Metro

Senate candidates spar in debates

NEEDHAM — In the first televised tussles of the Senate special election campaign, Representatives Edward J. Markey and Stephen F. Lynch, the two Democrats in the race, tangled over health care and abortion, defending their role in Washington gridlock, while Republican hopefuls Gabriel Gomez, ­Michael Sullivan, and Daniel Winslow, sought to intro­duce themselves to voters in their own fast-moving, half hour-matchup.

The debates, held back-to-back on several local television stations, offered candidates in both primaries a chance to reach out to voters who have yet to become engaged in the quiet special election race to succeed Senator John F. Kerry, with barely a month to go ­before the April 30 primaries.

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