To the Editor:
It has been suggested that our next state representative, to succeed retiring Tim Madden, should be an Islander rather than someone from the Cape part of the district, which means Falmouth. We, the undersigned public officials, see that sort of thinking as needlessly divisive when what we need in a representative is someone who understands not only our needs, but how the legislature actually works (for better or worse). Supporting someone guided primarily by geographic interests is ultimately self-defeating. To get the job done, as Tim Madden has for the past eight years, to represent an obviously diverse district, requires political skill, experience, and stamina given the unavoidable and endless traveling involved.
We endorse Dylan Fernandes in the primary election to be held on September 8. He has such skill, experience, and stamina. He is energetic and dynamic, knows the Vineyard well from all the time he has spent here over many years, even though he grew up and lives in Woods Hole. Many Islanders already know Dylan as he has knocked on over 2,000 doors on the Island and sat in many living rooms in the past several months. His values and knowledge of complex issues that affect us all is impressive.
Moreover, he is the only candidate in a field of seven who has direct and valuable experience in the ways of the State House through his work to advance the legislative initiatives in civil rights and consumer protection for Attorney General Maura Healey. Dylan can hit the ground running, and that’s what we need in a state representative. Representative Tim Madden, when he first ran also brought such direct experience to the position as he served previously as legislative liaison from Nantucket to his long-serving predecessor, Eric Turkington.
Testimonials and support from Attorney General Maura Healey attest to his work ethic and values. Clearly his direct connection to important officials can only help his efforts when he is our representative in the State House.
We urge a vote for Dylan Fernandes for the Democratic nomination for state representative in the primary election on September 8.
Greg Coogan – Oak Bluffs Selectman
Larry Gomez – Tisbury Selectman
Tristan Israel – Tisbury Selectman & Duke’s County Commissioner
Lenny Jason – Duke’s County Commissioner
Richard Knabel - West Tisbury Selectman
Jim Malkin – Chilmark Selectman
Art Smadback – Edgartown Selectman