2014 maine elections
Voters Guide
2014 maine elections
Voters Guide
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Denise A Tepler, Democrat


Office Sought: Representative - District 54

Age: 58

Occupation: Teacher/writer


Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA., high school diploma in 1974

Syracuse University, 1974-1976

University of Pennsylvania, 1976-1978, B.A.

University of Pennsylvania, 1978-1981, M.A.

Muskie School of Public Service, USM, 2000-2010, all coursework and testing for Ph.D. in public policy.


Married 33 years. 3 children -- now 30, 25, and 21.

Hometown: Topsham

Why are you running for office? As a member of the Topsham Finance Committee, and previously of the M.S.A.D #75 School Board, I have had the experience of working with other citizens, across party lines, to get things done for our town and schools. Topsham needs a representative who, like myself, has experience in working through a variety of opinions to come to practical conclusions, and someone with familiarity with the issues confronting our municipality, schools, and businesses. I have the backing of our current Representative -- Andrew Mason and he knows I am willing to devote myself full-time to advocating for our town and it's citizens.

Poltical Experience:

M.S.A.D. #75 School Board, 1996-2002 (two terms); Appointed to Topsham Municipal Finance Committee, 2009-2014 (two terms).

The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?Yes

I support helping to provide life-saving health care for 70,000 Mainers, including nearly 3,000 veterans. I believe that every Maine family deserves a family doctor and no one should be bankrupted by an illness. In addition, saying yes to life-saving health care will create thousands of jobs at time when Maine’s economy lags behind the nation. Our economy will see a $1 million per day boost in economic activity. It’s the right decision both morally and economically.

Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?Other

What, if anything, would you change about welfare?I strongly believe that the best welfare program is a good job. Our welfare programs should provide temporary help to struggling families who need to get back on their feet again. Fraud in our welfare program or any state program is completely unacceptable. In Augusta, I will work to make sure our welfare programs are efficient and help people transition out of poverty and into employment.

Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes

By how much?Too many Mainers are struggling to support their families with jobs that don’t pay a livable wage for a hard day’s work. I believe we need an economy that works for everyone -- not just those at the very top. When working people have more money in their pockets, they spend it locally supporting small businesses on our Main Streets. I would work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to create a proposal that would work best for Maine.

Would you support legalization of marijuana?Other

Please explain your position on legalization?I am torn and have not fully decided my position on legalization. I feel that the concerns of police officers and child advocates have not yet been fully addressed. I believe Maine should look to other states that have moved to legalization, like Washington and Colorado, as examples, as we move forward with the conversation. I would need to see specific proposals on taxation and regulation.