Tobias Glidden, a fifth generation Nantucketer, is running for Cape and Islands state representative as an independent candidate. But if elected, he said he intends to work with the Democratic party.

Mr. Glidden has been active in Nantucket town and county government, serving three years as a selectman, and also on the Nantucket county commission, the town affordable housing trust and the Community Preservation Committee.

The 28-year-old candidate says his Nantucket roots help him understand the issues here on Martha’s Vineyard.

“I’m an Islander,” Mr. Glidden said in a recent telephone interview with the Gazette. “I really understand the Islands, and I’m really running to represent them at the statehouse. I’m really passionate about getting more independently-minded people up at the statehouse. I work as a stone mason, and I want to make sure we have more trades people at the statehouse as well, who understand what it’s like to live and work on an Island. I’ve owned my own small business on Nantucket for the last five years. I know what it’s like to pay your own insurance and run your own business.”

He advocates a housing bank, based on the land bank model, that would set aside .5 per cent of every land transaction over $2 million. The money could be used for affordable housing. “I’ve had some really strong negotiating stances with developers making sure the town is getting the better end of the stick when outside developers come in,” he said. “I’ve been engaged in getting numerous houses built on Nantucket that would otherwise not have been built without my interaction in the negotiating process.”

Mr. Glidden said he helped change zoning regulations on Nantucket to allow tiny houses.

He cites experience working on energy issues on the state level, as well as practical experience on the local level.

“I went up and testified on behalf of the omnibus energy bill,” he said. “I’ve worked on creating a renewable energy program here on Nantucket. I have also worked installing solar panels, installing solar hot water. I’ve worked on job sites so I know the complexities of building and energy.”

The candidate said he has seen first hand how addiction can affect Island communities, including struggles with health insurance that may include a large deductible.

“On Nantucket, I led an effort to increase the amount of funding,” Mr. Glidden said. “We have a $450,000 fund that goes toward helping the mental health and opioid crisis, because the two issues are very interlinked. Taking that to the state level, we’re demonstrating to the state that we want to tackle this problem as a community.”

He is a proponent for universal health care, and said he would work to limit television and online advertising for prescription drugs.

He noted that the district draws visitors who generate substantial revenue for the state, and said he would work for a more equitable formula to distribute state tax revenues to local communities.

“On the Cape and Islands, it’s about tourism. I [would be] a state representative who has lived on Nantucket who gets tourism, and I’m going to be up there making sure we get the funding we bring back to the state,” he said. “The Cape and the Islands are a hugely influential place, given the people who come to visit here, and our beautiful natural environment, the way of life and the quality of life we have here. We are facing some big problems in the world. To deal with them we need to think globally and act locally.”

Mr. Glidden said he respects and understands the budget process, from his experience in Nantucket town government balancing a $100 million budget.

He concluded: “I would ask voters to vote for an Islander at the statehouse. We need someone who has been elected before, who has owned their own business, who has had experience living in the district for the last five years working on innovative solutions to the problems we face from affordable housing, water quality, renewable energy, and the opiate crisis. When it comes to all these issues we’re facing as a community, I know them from the top down, and the bottom up.”