“Politics can be an ugly game.” My wife said this to me in 2013 as we wrestled with a family decision about whether I was going to retire from my 26-year career in law enforcement and run for the 1st Barnstable state representative seat. She spoke these words knowing the importance I place on character and dignity. Undeterred, I was blessed to earn the right to serve my district these past four years, and I ask for your vote to return to Beacon Hill and serve you for another term.

Unfortunately, politics can be an ugly game and Lisa’s words to me were accurate. However, over these past four years I have learned much and gained valuable experience to continue to be an effective advocate for you and our community. A lot of this comes from following those important "life rules" we learn at a young age. Be honest and respectful. Your word is your bond. Work very hard in everything you do. Treat everyone with respect. Be organized and follow up on everything. Communicate. Following each of these "life rules" has helped me to earn the reputation as an effective, bipartisan legislator.

Over these past four years I have built effective bipartisan coalitions in both chambers of our Legislature to pass important and, in some cases, ground-breaking legislation critical toward fighting the proliferation of synthetic opioids in our communities. Joining with my colleague and close friend, state Rep. Paul Tucker, D-Salem, we jointly filed bipartisan legislation to criminalize the trafficking of fentanyl. We also jointly filed two more bipartisan bills to add deadly carfentanil (elephant tranquilizer) as well as other, newly identified synthetic opioids to our state’s list of controlled substances and assign stiff penalties for those trafficking in these deadly poisons.

When we filed these bills, each gained co-sponsorship of many of our colleagues, nearly 70 legislators both Democrat and Republican and from both the House and the Senate, and they were signed into law this year by Gov. Charlie Baker. I am proud of the work Paul and I have accomplished, and it continues to stand as an example of how bipartisanship in government works. Set party politics aside and work together to get things done for the people. We have much more work left to do.

It is this bipartisan, hardworking approach that enabled me to direct more state funding to the 1st Barnstable District than we have seen in some time. Just a few weeks ago we held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Yarmouth Commons, which will bring 69 units of workforce housing to Yarmouth, made possible in part by over $4 million in state grants and other tax incentives my office worked hard to gain.

A $1 million state grant was awarded to Project FORWARD to provide housing in Dennis for adults on the autism spectrum, and in just the month of July we announced $4 million in new state funding and bond authorizations for wastewater, dredging, and environmental projects that the towns of Barnstable, Brewster, Dennis and Yarmouth identified as priorities. We are getting back more of your tax money that we send over the bridge each year and we are not done yet.

My deepest thanks extend to my wife and daughters for their continued love and support, and to my chief of staff, Rebecca Hamlin, who has been integral in our office achieving every success these past four years. Sincere thanks also extend to you, the voters I serve. Your support and your vote means very much to me. Thank you.

State Rep. Timothy Whelan, R-Brewster, represents the 1st Barnstable District in the Massachusetts House.