TOPSHAM — For the second time, Democrat Denise Tepler is challenging a re-election bid by Republican Rep. Kerri Prescott in state House District 60.
Both of the candidates emphasized the importance of stimulating Maine’s job sector.
Prescott, 46, is seeking her third term. A second degree black belt, she has three children and owns Kerrizma Designz, which offers photography and calligraphy services. She is also a member of the Topsham Expresso Rotary and Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber.
Prescott has served on the Legislature’s Business, Research and Economic Development Committee and the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources.
“I feel like I can be an effective strong voice for the people of Topsham, and that I’ve proven that I’ve done that in the past four years,” she said.
Prescott said she wants the state to get to a point where jobs can be created to help Maine recover from the poor economy. Health insurance for Mainers is another concern, she said, noting that some people must choose between paying for care or paying their mortgage.
She said she has also heard sentiments from constituents that they are frustrated by the way the government is being run.
“They would like to see more accountability; they’d like to see transparency across the board in all the departments, and even within the Legislature,” Prescott said. “… Priorities need to be set within state government, and the spending needs to stop. We’re broke.”
Prescott said she has “an open-minded, common-sense approach that reaches across all party lines.”
Tepler, 54, is married with three children and recently started a small business, Simply Healthy, where she teaches cooking. She served on the School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors from 1996 to 2002 and chaired its policy and curriculum committees.
Tepler is now is the community representative to the board’s Guidance Advisory and Gifted and Talented committees and is on the Spectrum Generations board. She has also served on the finance committees for the School Board and the town.
“A lot of people put their trust in me when I ran last time, and I came very close to winning,” Tepler said, adding that she sees an opportunity for more community members to get to know her. She said perseverance is a key quality for a person to have in the Legislature.
Tepler said she wants attention to be brought to the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses.
Education is another of her concerns, she said, noting that “we need to work hard to protect and sustain (the local school) system,” as well as to improve it.
Enabling and sustaining the creation of community in Topsham, while encouraging growth in designated regions, is another of Tepler’s concerns.
“I know a lot about our town,” she said, adding that her community involvement has shown that “I’m very good at bringing people together, to make something happen.”
Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rep. Kerri Prescott