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In Braintree, a must-win for Gomez, enthusiasm is slim

Laurie Seckinger (left) was more focused on Scott Brown’s Senate bid; Kristen Son said she would vote for Gabriel Gomez
Laurie Seckinger (left) was more focused on Scott Brown’s Senate bid; Kristen Son said she would vote for Gabriel GomezPhotos by Debee Tlumacki for the Boston Globe

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Conservative-leaning towns like this one swept Scott Brown to victory in 2010 as his insurgent candidacy became the hot topic in pizza parlors and delis. But walk into Nanci’s Barber Shop this week, and the chatter is not about any Senate candidates, or even politics at all.

“You’ve got a lot of Bruins and Whitey Bulger; people seem to be talking about that a lot the last two weeks,” said Joanne Bailey Hanna, who cuts hair at Nanci’s and was wearing a Bruins shirt. “I couldn’t even right now tell you when the election is.”

It is that lack of passion for the election Tuesday that could spell trouble for Republican Gabriel E. Gomez, who will need the kind of runaway enthusiasm that Brown generated in towns like Braintree if he hopes to topple the Democratic front-runner, US Representative Edward J. Markey.

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