Daniel Waters, a longtime resident of West Tisbury, is the lone candidate for town moderator in a special election set for early November.

Mr. Waters is seeking to fill the vacancy caused by the unexpected death of F. Patrick Gregory, who was the victim of a homicide while on vacation in California this past spring. Mr. Gregory had served as town moderator since 1991.

“When we lost Pat Gregory it was a terrible blow for the town. The idea of going to the next town meeting and not having Pat there is basically unthinkable. But when you are dealt a terrible loss like this, we can only sit and feel the loss for so long before realizing we need do something and sometimes that means jumping into the fray and starting to pull an oar that you’ve never pulled before,” Mr. Waters told the Gazette by telephone Wednesday morning.

The special election is scheduled for Nov. 4., the same day as the state election.

Mr. Waters was the only person to file nomination papers by the Sept. 16 deadline, town clerk Tara Whiting said Wednesday.

“I’m hoping that my running will give people the sense of a new chapter in West Tisbury and a sense of hope for the future,” Mr. Waters said. “In some ways I attribute this to Pat because he made this a job that a person would want to have and he did a job that a person would want to emulate.”

He added that the late Mr. Gregory was impartial, a good listener and patient in his role as town moderator. He also said that for as long as he can remember, annual town meetings have only lasted one night in West Tisbury. “If elected, I intend to keep town meetings to one night and I’ll try to moderate the way Pat did,” he said.

Mr. Waters is the development director at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, a West Tisbury library trustee and was the town’s first poet laureate. He is also a printmaker and runs Indian Hill Press. He lives in West Tisbury with his husband and three cats.

The last day to register to vote in the state election is Oct. 15.