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The three Republican candidates battled toward a potentially close finish in the Senate primary on Tuesday while an illness knocked Representative Stephen F. Lynch off the campaign trail on the critical last day of his challenge to Representative Edward J. Markey.
A stomach bug forced Lynch to cancel six of the seven events he had planned for the day before the primary, a time when all five candidates were pushing to create a sense of momentum in a race that has been overshadowed by the Boston Marathon bombings.
As the candidates made stops across the state, two Democratic groups dispatched camera-wielding operatives to track Gabriel E. Gomez, a sign that the former Navy SEAL may be gaining on the perceived front-runner, Michael J. Sullivan.