Tepler wins 3-way race in state House District 54

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TOPSHAM — Democrat Denise Tepler defeated Republican Kim Talbot and Green Independent Daniel Stromgren Tuesday to secure the state House District 54 seat vacated by Rep. Andrew Mason, D-Topsham.

Tepler, of Homeplace, received 2,217 votes, followed by 2,130 by West Schoolhouse Crossing Road resident Talbot and 535 by Stromgren, who lives on Coombs Road.

“This was a clean race and well run by all,” Tepler said via email early Wednesday morning, expressing thanks to her opponents, as well as to “the people of Topsham for coming out and voting in great numbers. The large turnout made me proud. And, I am truly honored by this opportunity to represent you in Augusta, and will work hard on your behalf.”

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 1996-2002, where she chaired the policy and curriculum committees. She is also a new member of the Brunswick Food Shed Advisory Committee.

Tepler was defeated in House campaigns in 2008 and 2010 by former state Rep. Kerri Prescott, R-Topsham. After withdrawing from this year’s election in June, Mason nominated fellow Democrat Tepler to replace him on the ballot.

Talbot handles bookkeeping and customer service for her husband’s small business, and works at the Great Impasta in Brunswick.

Stromgren, a clinical social worker, has been a member of the Maine Greens since the party’s 1994 inception. He is treasurer of the party, sits on its statewide steering committee, and has worked on several campaigns and national party issues.

Stromgren, who was adopted as a child, has been a longtime advocate for adoption rights. He ran unsuccessfully last year in a special election in state Senate District 19, which prior to redistricting included Sagadahoc County and the Lincoln County town of Dresden.

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

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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.