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Democrat Clark wins congressional election in Massachusetts

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[December 11, 2013]  BOSTON (Reuters)  Eastern Massachusetts voters elected a Democratic state senator as their newest representative in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday in a special election to fill the seat formerly held by now-Senator Edward Markey, according to local media reports.

Democrat Katherine Clark, who campaigned on issues including improving women's healthcare and the rising cost of college, easily won a four-way race to represent a district that includes Boston's near western suburbs but not the city itself, according to the reports, including by the Boston Globe.

She defeated Republican Frank Addivinola, Independent James Aulenti and James Hall of the Justice Peace Security party in an election to succeed Markey, who in June was elected to fill the Senate seat that became vacant when John Kerry was named secretary of state.

Turnout was light for the off-cycle election, which came on a day the Boston area was hit by an inch of snow.

Addivinola, a lawyer, had sought to tie Clark to President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law at a time the program has been plagued by technical problems.

The district leans heavily Democratic, said Peter Ubertaccio, a professor of political science at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.

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"Clark avoided almost any opportunity save one to sit down and have a debate on the issues," said Ubertaccio, noting that hurt Addivinola's efforts to build his name recognition.

Massachusetts' nine congressional representatives and two senators are all Democrats.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; editing by Alden Bentley and Mary Wisniewski)

[ 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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