Massachusetts residents need to turn out in big numbers for Tuesday's primary election. If you can crowd into a Walmart, Target, liquor store, or a political protest, you can go to the polls.

The big primary attraction is, of course, the race for the U.S. Senate. Incumbent Democrat Ed Markey is hoping to beat back a formidable challenge from Representative Joe Kennedy. Markey has been the junior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts since 2013 but served in the U.S. House from 1976-2013. Kennedy won the Massachusetts 4th congressional district in 2013.

Republican Kevin O'Connor is an attorney from Dover and is a newcomer to politics. He faces a primary challenge from Shiva Ayyadurai. Born in India, Ayyadurai ran as an independent for the U.S. Senate in 2018.

The winners of Tuesday's party primaries will go head to head in November.

Out of the four candidates, O'Connor's positions on issues more closely match my own. But being a conservative in blue Massachusetts, it will be tough for him to defeat either Markey or Kennedy in the November 3 final election. Tough, but not impossible.

Kennedy was the odds-on favorite to win from the get-go. But Kennedy has proven to be a poor candidate, and according to recent polls, he trails Markey by double digits. Polls don't mean a whole lot in this political day and age. The pandemic and voter turnout will have a lot to say about who wins the primary.

Massachusetts voters should not allow the pandemic to be an excuse not to vote. The weather is expected to be just fine for a primary election. Grab your mask and head to the polls and do your duty. With all that is going on in our country these days, it is more important than ever for everyone who is eligible to get out and vote.

Let's vote, Massachusetts.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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