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campaign notebook

Brown to join Gomez

Former senator Scott Brown, largely absent from the Senate campaign trail after deciding not to run himself, will appear at an election eve rally for Republican nominee Gabriel E. Gomez, a top Gomez campaign official said Thursday.

The rally, on Monday night in Quincy, will be the GOP pair’s first joint public appearance, though Brown has helped Gomez raise money. Brown has said he had been willing to do what the campaign asks of him, within the limits of his schedule.

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But by keeping his distance from Gomez, Brown has also prevented this year’s special election from serving as a referendum on his own abbreviated term.

— Jim O’Sullivan

Absentee ballot requests
are down by 22 percent

Requests for absentee ballots in Tuesday’s special US Senate election have slipped 22 percent from the January 2010 special election, Secretary of State William F. Galvin said Thursday.

Galvin’s office said he was “extremely concerned” about the level of voter participation in the race between Democratic nominee Edward J. Markey and Republican Gabriel E. Gomez.

By Thursday, 49,748 voters had filed for absentee ballots, down from 63,610 the week before the 2010 election between Scott Brown and Attorney General Martha Coakley. The deadline to apply for absentee ballots is Monday at noon.

— Jim O’Sullivan

Clinton quietly stops by
for dinner with the mayor

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the subject of incessant speculation about a potential presidential run in 2016, made a quick, low-profile visit to Boston on Wednesday.

The former secretary of state was here for a speaking engagement and had a discreet dinner with Mayor Thomas M. Menino at Hamersley’s Bistro in the South End.

The two have some shared history: Menino endorsed Clinton over Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary.

Both are also in transitory phases of their careers: Clinton is out of government for the first time in years, while Menino is preparing to end his two-decade reign in City Hall.

Dot Joyce, Menino’s spokeswoman, declined to share details of the dinner, but said, “They told some stories, and, from what I understand, had a very nice time.”

—Michale Levenson

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