Woolwich resident Allison Hepler, a Democrat, will run for re-election to represent House District 53. She will face Jeffrey Pierce of Dresden, who lost his reelection bid to Hepler in November 2018. Photo courtesy of Allison Hepler

WOOLWICH — Allison Hepler, a Democrat, announced Thursday she is running for her second term representing House District 53 in the Maine House of Representatives, which includes the towns of Arrowsic, Dresden, Georgetown, Phippsburg, Woolwich and part of Richmond.

During her first term in the Maine House of Representatives, Helper said she supported legislation to lower the cost of healthcare, invest in infrastructure like broadband internet, bring property tax relief and maintain a sustainable and productive marine economy.

“These are the concerns that constituents tell me they care about,” said Hepler, who has lived in Woolwich for four decades. “Yes, some of these initiatives come with a cost, which has to be balanced against the greater good of Mainers.”

Helper said one bill she’s particularly proud of expands services for people with brain injuries, including a growing population of people who have survived opioid overdoses but suffered brain damage due to the loss of oxygen before being revived.

A member of the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources, she introduced another bill to provide disabled veterans access to free recreational fishing licenses through the Department of Marine Resources. The bill received unanimous approval from the committee and is headed to the full legislature.

Hepler is also serving her third term on the Woolwich select board. She teaches history at the University of Maine at Farmington, volunteers with Maine’s First Ship, the Woolwich Historical Society and the Patten Free Library board. She is also a member of the steering committee for Age-Friendly Communities of the Lower Kennebec.

Should she be re-elected, Hepler said she wants to focus on making healthcare accessible and affordable, enticing young families to move to Maine, keeping good-paying jobs in Maine, and adapting to the changing climate.

She said her favorite part of her job is, “the relationships we’ve built during community events like Woolwich Day and Dresden Summerfest, constituent office hours, monthly potluck suppers, community group meetings, school functions and town meetings.”

Hepler said she’s optimistic for the future despite Maine’s aging population and likes the direction the state is moving in under Gov. Janet Mills.

“Mills is someone who believes in the process of government and all the things that make government messy but ultimately satisfying,” she said. “We don’t always have to agree, but we can solve problems.”

Republican Jeffrey Pierce of Dresden announced he is also running for House District 53. Pierce lost his reelection bid to Hepler in 2018 following a campaign in which the Maine Democratic Party released details on his criminal record.

Pierce was convicted on charges he sold cocaine and marijuana to an undercover state trooper in 1983 and had other misdemeanor offenses between 1980 and 2006, including two convictions for driving under the influence, according to state background check records.

Pierce was pardoned by former Republican Gov. Paul LePage in late 2018. However, the pardon does not expunge his record.

In a previous interview, Pierce said he would focus on making sure the elderly have a place to live, regardless of whether they can pay, and fixing roads statewide.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: