By Paul Burton, WBZ-TVBy Paul Burton

BOSTON (CBS) — With less than two days to go to the primary election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by John Kerry, all five candidates are shaking hands and holding rallies across the state.

“We are rallying the troops,” Congressman Ed Markey said at a rally in Brookline.

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With a short window of time to reach voters, all of the candidates admit this race has been sidelined by the recent tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings.

“This race started on Friday. It’s really a five-day race,” Republican candidate Daniel Winslow said.

The three Republicans and two Democrats running in the Senate special election spent this sunny weekend trying to drum up last-minute support focusing on issues including health care, jobs and national security.

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“It’s a different campaign to be honest with you. Now everyone is talking about jobs and national security,” Republican candidate Michael Sullivan said.

Markey greeted voters in Brookline.

“I can feel now over this final weekend that people are turning their attention to it and I can sense the building of this primary on Tuesday,” the congressman said.

Markey’s Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, said he wishes he had more time to campaign.

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“With the events on April 15th, it was right we shut the campaigns down, and we are hoping people will focus on the campaign and the election this Tuesday.” Lynch said.

Paul Burton