To the Editor:
When I posted on Facebook at 5:45 pm on Monday, September 3, that I would be running a write-in campaign for a Democratic nomination for Dukes County Commission, I didn’t think that I could reach enough people to get the 25 votes necessary on such short notice. And, of course, I had to make sure anyone supporting me knew how to write-in a candidate — not quite as straightforward as one would think.
But with your sign-holding, sharing, voting, and most importantly, your SUPPORT, we got over 12 times the votes we needed: 308. This past week, I formally notified the Secretary of State’s office of my candidacy with a written acceptance of a Democratic nomination.
Thank you for making this happen. Thank you to all who held signs: Yolani Doddy, Lara O’Brien, Susanna Sturgis, Matt Hayden, and Margaret Emerson. Thank you to all that shared the information; the only way we could do this well was the work all of you did on social media and beyond on such short notice. And thank you to all who supported me by writing in the name of an 18-year-old running for office for the first time.
And thank you to those who commented on social media with questions. Thank you to those who viewed my candidacy with skepticism and wanted to make sure that I was prepared for what I was getting myself into. I am sure I have not erased the doubt or skepticism in many of your minds. But it is those tough questions that truly would make me be a better commissioner if I am fortunate to win in November.
If I am elected, my first order of business will be holding public meetings in each of the seven towns that make up Dukes County, during times when working people can actually be there. Aquinnah residents shouldn’t have to drive down Island every time they want their voices heard, and Gosnold residents are just as much a part of this county as those living on the Vineyard. No moderating, no fuss. Just what’s on your mind and what you want from your commission. If you want to ask a tough question that I will not have the answer to, I will do my best to find that answer. In the coming weeks and months, I will be formulating my policy ideas for the Dukes County Commission and gathering input from the community on those proposals, which will also be in a public setting.
Thank you to all of the other candidates whom I was proud to vote for on Tuesday and those that I will be honored to share the ballot with. Thank you for running and being a part of the democratic process.
I also want to thank the seven town clerks in Dukes: Wanda Williams in Edgartown, Laura Johnston in Oak Bluffs, Hillary Conklin in Tisbury, Tara Whiting in West Tisbury, Jennifer Christy in Chilmark, Gabriella Camilleri in Aquinnah, Lisa Wright in Gosnold, and all the poll workers in each of our towns. They did great work on primary night counting the write-ins and getting results out to the community. I had the pleasure of sitting in on Aquinnah’s polling place as the votes were counted and they do yeoman’s work every election day long into the night. Make sure to thank your poll workers on election day.
And lastly, I leave you with my email and phone number. Please call, text, or email me any time of day with questions, comments, criticisms, words of wisdom, words of caution. The only way that I could represent the seven towns of Dukes County is to actually hear from the constituents I would serve. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve you. I humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 6, but know that if I win, I will represent those that did not vote for me with as much passion and vigor as those who did.