Eight candidates are running for seven seats on the Dukes County Commission. The Gazette emailed questions to all the candidates asking them to speak to their qualifications and the role of the commission.

Leon Brathwaite 2nd
Town: West Tisbury
Occupation: Retired administrator

Reason for Running

I am running for reelection as a Dukes County Commissioner because I am committed to public service and to well managed and fiscally responsible county government. During the past four years, I have enjoyed working with constituents from the six Island towns and my fellow commissioners to identify and address both short-term and long-term regional needs of the county. I look forward to continued collaboration between the Center for Living Board and the Dukes County Commission as it brings the Center for Living to the new Dukes County social services building. I also look forward to working with the All-Island Selectmen’s Association to address regional workforce and elderly housing needs. Addressing the opioid crisis, in collaboration with the health and human services communities is another one of my priorities.


My qualifications for this position include serving as a two-term Dukes County Commissioner with over 30 years of combined experience in state and city government. I served as chairman of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and director of the State Office of Affirmative Action. I also served as director of staff development for the city of Newton. These positions combined with my participation in the Kennedy School of Government Management Institutes helped me to develop an extensive knowledge base of planning, labor relations law and human resources management. My other current volunteer and civic engagement includes serving as secretary of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, vice chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, Island Housing Trust board member and life member of the NAACP.

Role of the County Commission

I see the main role of the Dukes County Commission (DCC) as oversight of the county budget, preservation of county property and assets, review and appointment of county representatives to the airport commission, health council, Center for Living and associate commissioners; and identifying, facilitating and implementing regional initiatives and issues that impact the residents of Dukes County. The commission should play a key role in fostering communication, collaboration and cooperation among the six towns to reach fair and equitable solutions. I will help carry this out by working with my fellow commissioners, the county manager, the county advisory board, county-wide agencies and human services organizations, and county residents. I will also continue to serve as the appointee to the joint transportation committee of the MVC and the DCC personnel, budget and building subcommittees.