Rep. Dylan Fernandes To Run For State Senate Seat

Jason Graziadei •

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Rep. Dylan Fernandes on Nantucket. Photo by Brian Sager

State Rep. Dylan Fernandes, the Falmouth Democrat who has represented Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and parts of Cape Cod at the State House since he was elected in 2016, announced the next chapter in his political career late last week - and it would not include the island.

Fernandes, 33, is launching a campaign for state senate to represent the Plymouth and Barnstable districts. He is seeking the seat being vacated by State Sen. Susan Moran (D-Falmouth) who is running for the Barnstable County Superior Court clerk position in 2024.

"This is an opportunity to make an even greater impact on the issues we've already been working on," said Fernandes, who is currently in his fourth term as a state representative for the most geographically diverse district in Massachusetts that includes two islands and parts of Cape Cod.

Fernandes said he is running "To promote a sustainable environment for generations to come, to support housing for people that is so out of reach at the moment, to protect women's rights, and to work on issues around substance misuse and mental health that are impacting so many people in the Plymouth and Barnstable district."

Fernandes said he intends to focus on "the largest infrastructure project in the country," referring to the replacement of the Bourne and Sagamore bridges to Cape Cod, as well as the safety and environmental issues surrounding the decommissioned Pilgrim nuclear power plant.

Back in 2016, Fernandes defeated Nantucket resident and former Select Board member Tobias Glidden in the race for former state Rep. Tim Madden's seat.

During his seven years in office, Fernandes has been a frequent visitor to Nantucket, providing regular legislative updates to the island's Select Board, and has worked with State Sen. Julian Cyr to push for Nantucket's housing bank legislation.

Fernandes will continue to represent Nantucket and the rest of his current district through next November.

But he hopes that running for the state senate will give him a greater opportunity to affect change and the issues he is passionate about.

"We're going to be running a people-focused campaign," Fernandes said. "I'll be knocking on doors, making phone calls, reaching out to people, meeting people where they are to listen to their cares and concerns and talk about how I can be helpful. That's what public service is all about."

Glidden, who has stepped back from elected politics in recent years but has stayed active in local issues such as the short-term rental debate, said over the weekend that he was unsure whether he would make a run for Fernandes' seat.

It "would be fun, but we'll see," Glidden told the Current, noting that he's been getting many inquiries since Fernandes made his announcement.

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