Attorney Kevin O'Connor won his first election last month when he beat the competition in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. Ed Markey won his first in the '70s.

O'Connor has a tough climb in this election cycle. Senator Markey has done something nobody thought he could do: he ended the political future of the Kennedy family in Massachusetts and possibly in the United States. Markey beat Kennedy by outflanking him on the left and particularly by joining the movement to defund the police.

The police unions in Massachusetts have taken notice of Markey's position and they have a credible choice to support against the long-serving liberal senator.

But the police union support for O'Connor goes deeper than the fact that they feel betrayed by Markey. O'Connor has made a strong effort to meet with police officers and to listen to them about what they experience day to day out on the streets. He also asks them what he can do as a senator to make our state safer for everyone.

I was on the bus when the New Bedford Police Union took O'Connor on a tour of the city. Officers Hank Turgeon, Jimmy Estrella, and Manny Maciel introduced O'Connor to lots of local residents and business owners across the city they serve and protect.

I was there when police officers from Taunton, Fall River, New Bedford, Westport, Dartmouth, and other SouthCoast communities gathered to listen to O'Connor make his pitch for their support. I was there when he answered their questions for an hour. He earned their support that night. There were firefighters and electrical workers at that meeting too.

O'Connor has earned an impressive list of supporters from the men and women of law enforcement. The people that keep us safe have given us their opinion on how best to vote to keep your family and property secure. They are experts; trust the experts.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at chris.mccarthy@townsquaremedia.com and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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