Tepler gets Democrats' nod in Topsham House race

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TOPSHAM — Denise Tepler, who has twice run unsuccessfully to represent Topsham in the state House of Representatives, was picked to run again Tuesday in a local Democratic caucus.

Tepler will replace first-term state Rep. Andrew Mason, D-Topsham, on the November ballot in House District 54. Mason, who was unopposed in June’s Democratic primary, recently announced his decision not to seek re-election.

He nominated Tepler to replace him.

“I am very pleased and honored” to be nominated and “elected by acclamation,” Tepler said Tuesday night on Facebook.

The caucus, attended by 35 Democrats, was held at the Williams-Cone elementary school, she said. Mason said there were no other candidates.

Tepler will face two candidates in the general election: Daniel Stromgren, a Maine Green Independent who was also unopposed in June, and Kim Talbot, who defeated Susan Dolan for the Republican candidacy.

Tepler, a local foods advocate, freelance teacher and writer, has served two terms on Topsham’s Finance Committee. She was also on the School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors from 1996 to 2002, where she chaired the policy and curriculum committees.

Tepler was defeated in House campaigns in 2008 and 2010 by former state Rep. Kerri Prescott, R-Topsham.

Mason, who was elected to the Legislature in 2012, is an attorney who recently took a job with with the Portland firm of Daniel Lilley. He said it was “an opportunity that I cannot decline, both for career and family purposes.”

“The work of the Legislature is time-consuming and demanding, making it very difficult to balance with a career and family,” Mason wrote June 24 on his legislative Facebook page.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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Denise Tepler

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.