Julian Cyr is a native of Truro who has been active in politics since high school. He also participated in student government at New York University, where he earned a degree in public policy and community health.

Mr. Cyr defeated one other candidate to win the Democratic primary in the race for the seat from the Cape and Islands senate district.

The 30-year-old candidate was most recently the director of policy and regulatory affairs for environmental health in the Massachusetts Department of Health.

He cites life experiences living in a small rural town with a seasonal economy and working in his family’s restaurant as reasons he got into the race for state senator.

“I believe that Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Cape Cod really should be a place that people can start a life, start a family, have a business, like so many in my parents’ generation did,” Mr. Cyr said in an interview at the Gazette. “I’ve seen how our communities have changed. I’ve seen how the opportunities so many of us were able to tap into are slipping away. I really understand how our seasonal economy works. I’ve been part of those conversations when you’re figuring out how late can we stay open, can we afford to take the hit on payroll to go to Columbus Day, could we go later, do we close sooner, the hand wringing every season about where are we gong to get help to work in the kitchen. That’s part of my DNA.”

He said his work on budgets and public health initiatives, as well as his Democratic party affiliation in a body where Democrats enjoy a dominating majority, will make him an effective state senator.

“I’m really fluent and familiar in how the committee structures work, how you move a bill through both chambers,” he said. “I not only have relationships with senators, but with their aides, the people who really drive the work,” he said, adding confidently: “As a freshman senator I’ll chair a committee. I’ll be on the path to leadership in the majority party.”

Mr. Cyr said he will work to make longer treatment available for those trying to recover from heroin addiction by requiring health insurers to expand covered care, and getting drug companies to pay for a fair share.

“We need to start with treatment. This isn’t a short-term treatment and then you’re done. This is eight, nine, ten years in recovery,” he said. “We don’t have treatment that is set up for that. I think folks should get 90 days of pre-approved care for treatment.”

He also advocated more crisis intervention training for police, and more funding for drug courts.

Mr. Cyr names housing as a priority issue. He favors a housing bank, based on the land bank model established on Martha’s Vineyard, and proposes a tax-free savings account for first-time homeowners.

“For most of us, the affordable housing programs, we don’t qualify for, or we don’t have enough money to get a loan from the bank,” he said. “Affordable rentals is the way to go. We need to incentivise and expand rental opportunities with accessory dwelling units, tiny homes. If you’re paying rent here, you’re probably paying rent that’s equivalent or more to a mortgage.”

He said environmental advocacy is going to be important for the next state senator.

“We need to continue pushing and get really serious about stewarding our environment, specifically around addressing the wastewater problem,” Mr. Cyr said. “Some of this can rely on innovative technology, but some of this is going to require sewering, which is expensive. We need the state to help our communities with expanding low-interest, or no-interest financing. So much of our economy is interwoven with our pristine natural environment. If we don’t’ preserve that, we’re going to lose a competitive advantage and that’s going to hurt our communities.”

He concluded: “I’m a native son who is grounded in our community, who has the relevant experience to get the job done . . . . We really need to work toward insuring that all people continue to have the opportunities here that prior generations did.”