Dylan Fernandes promotes level experience at the state level as one of the qualifications necessary for the next Cape and Islands state representative. The 26-year-old Woods Hole resident recently resigned his job as digital director in the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, in order to campaign for the elected post. He cites as additional qualifications his work on the campaigns of Ms. Healey in 2014, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2012.

Mr. Fernandes defeated four challengers in the September Democratic primary, winning 1,337 votes from the Island. He calls the state representative’s seat his dream job.

“I get to continue what I’m doing, fighting for working people, vulnerable people, and environmental stewardship, but I get to do it for the local communities that I deeply care about,” Mr. Fernandes said in a recent interview at the Gazette. “When politicians look down at our region, they just see lighthouses and beaches and they think everything is just fine here. In fact, we have some really big challenges around environmental degradation, around the opioid epidemic, around affordable housing.”

The district includes Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties, as well as West Falmouth. He said he would address the opioid crisis gripping Martha’s Vineyard by advocating for better health insurance regulations, longer treatment and prevention.

“We need much more money for prevention right now,” the candidate said. “Less than two per cent of the funding that we get gets put toward prevention. We’re not going to solve this crisis unless we start preventing it. I also want to see longer-term treatment. We need to break the cycles of addiction. We need to bring the insurance companies to the table on that.”

Mr. Fernandes said he wants to make the district more affordable and equitable for residents who are struggling with housing.

“Right now we’re kind of at a turning point for our district,” he said. “Lack of affordable housing is driving them out of the district. We need to be working with local municipalities to work on zoning law changes to allow for working families, young people, to live not on a one-acre plot of land, but maybe some higher density in downtown areas.”

Both he and his opponent have been visible in the six Island towns during the months leading up to the November election. He said if elected, he is committed to holding regular office hours on the Vineyard, and notes that his campaign literature includes his email address and his mobile phone number.

“Throughout this campaign I’ve proven how deeply committed I am to Marthas’ Vineyard,” Mr. Fernandes said. “We’ve knocked on well over 3,000 doors. I think it’s really important that the next state representative be engaging and open and accessible. I’ve made it a priority.”

He is a graduate of the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where he majored in economics and political science. He often frames environmental issues in economic terms. He supports a carbon tax, that would make fossil fuels more expensive, and provide and incentive to use renewable energy.

“Environmental degradation and sea level rise is threatening our local environment, “Mr. Fernandes said. “That really drives our economy . . . . every economist will tell you if you want to get serious about taking the carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere and addressing climate change, we need a carbon tax.”

Mr. Fernandes cites his family as the reason he has chosen a career in politics and public service.

“I think I got into politics in the first place, and public service and giving back because of my family background. My father grew up in really extreme poverty in Falmouth, a family of nine brothers and sisters. Really strong values about economical and social justice, and also about giving back to the local community that has given me and my family so much.”