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In race to replace Markey, Democrats vie for votes in tossup towns

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The ballot is set. The campaign is in full swing. And with less than seven weeks until the decisive Democratic primary in the race to succeed Edward J. Markey in the US House of Representatives, this well-heeled town northwest of Boston has become something of a battleground.

Its voters tend to be liberal and show up at the polls on primary days. But none of the seven Democrats running for the Fifth Congressional District has a clearly defined electoral base here.

That means most of the candidates are working hard to win support in this wealthy enclave 15 miles northwest of Boston that Jim Shaw, cochairman of the Lexington Democratic Town Committee, called “up for grabs.”

The district, which covers all or part of 24 municipalities from Revere to Woburn to Framingham to Holliston, is heavily Democratic, so the party’s nominee is likely to win the special election for the seat.

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