Massachusetts residents, particularly those of us here in the southeastern region, have plenty of reason to go to the polls for Tuesday's primary elections.

For the first time in a long time, voters in New Bedford, Fall River and Taunton could be key in determining the outcome of a U.S. Senate race. Democrat Elizabeth Warren will face the winner of Tuesday's Republican primary in November. Turnout on Tuesday could determine just how serious the challenge to Warren's incumbency is.

Elizabeth Warren
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Many, including true blue longtime Democrats have expressed dissatisfaction with Warren's job performance, but are they ready to dislodge her from her Senate seat? Will they see only the "D" beside her name and vote to re-up, or will they stay home? I hope they turn out in November and vote for change.

On Tuesday, Republicans and Independents get to pick their David to go after the Democrats' Goliath in November. There are three Republicans to select from: Geoff Diehl, Beth Lindstrom and John Kingston. Shiva Ayyadurai is running as an independent.

Diehl has been running a strong campaign for more than a year and a half, and was endorsed by Republican Convention delegates earlier this year. Diehl has campaigned in New Bedford on numerous occasions and has won the support of many in the fishing industry after speaking out about Warren's lack of advocacy on behalf of the industry. Lindstrom, Kingston and Ayyadurai have been largely absent from these parts.

Lindstrom's campaign contacted me for the first time on Wednesday about having the candidate appear on the program today, five days before the primary. Kingston and Ayyadurai's campaigns have still not reached out. Kingston and Lindstrom have advertised locally. Lindstrom's ads have attacked Diehl, and not Warren.

A fatal mistake of many Republican candidates has been to surrender southeastern Massachusetts. Diehl seems to have adopted a different approach, and is campaigning hard here.

The political landscape in our region is changing. Candidates who ignore us or assume they have it in the bag here because of past voting history do so at their own peril. Voters in southeastern Massachusetts can no longer be taken for granted, nor can they continue to pledge blind allegiance to a political party that has not served the area well.

It's time we demand that politicians who want our support come here and ask for it. They must show a commitment before, during and after the election, or they must be held to account by the voters. How does Beth Lindstrom discover New Bedford five days before the primary and expect to win our votes, let alone our trust?

Elizabeth Warren has not served our region well and should be replaced. We can play a big role in determining our own destiny by going to the polls on Tuesday and then following up in November by sending Warren packing.

There is also an important primary in the North End of New Bedford and portions of Acushnet. Incumbent 11th Bristol District State Representative Robert Koczera (D) is facing a primary challenge from Chris Hendricks (D). The winner on Tuesday is the next State Rep, as there is no Republican challenger in November.

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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 and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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