How to spur more job growth in the Merrimack Valley and the state is a major focus of debate as a wide open race for a vacant state Senate seat speeds to the finish line. Newburyport Democrat Kathleen O’Connor Ives, Haverhill Republican Shaun A. Toohey, and unenrolled candidates James Kelcourse of Amesbury and Paul A. Magliocchetti of Haverhill are vying in the Nov. 6 election to succeed Methuen Democrat Steven Baddour, who resigned last April.
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