Party affiliation:

Democrat

Residence:

Woolwich

Social media accounts:

Heplerforrep.com, “Allison Hepler for HD 53” on Facebook

Occupation:

College history professor, Woolwich selectperson

Education:

B.A. Journalism, Ph.D. History

Community Organizations:

Woolwich Historical Society, Maine’s First Ship, Bath Area Age-Friendly and Livability Initiative, Patten Free Library, Midcoast Community Alliance

Personal information (hobbies, etc.):

Swimming, canoeing, hiking

Family status:

Widowed 21 years ago after 18 years of marriage, remarried 3 years ago to wooden boat-builder Rob Stevens, no children

Years in the Legislature:

None

Committee assignments (if elected):

State and Local Government, Education and Cultural Affairs, Marine Resources, Environment and Natural Resources

Q&A

1) What legislation do you support, if any, to address the state’s opiate crisis?

I support the legislative Opiate Task Force: provide more treatment resources, drug courts; and work with medical providers and law enforcement to turn the epidemic around. It’s a public health issue.

2) What legislation do you support, if any, to address failures in the state’s child abuse prevention system?

More resources, training, and pay for case workers, hire more caseworkers, more pay for foster parents, and more collaboration and up-to-date infrastructure. It’s about protecting kids and families.

3) Should schools continue to push forward with proficiency-based diplomas? Why or why not?

I support removing the mandate for PBL. While many districts have embraced it, others are having more difficulty. Removing the mandate allows more collaboration and development toward better outcomes.

4) Are you in favor of some type of universal health care for Maine residents? Why, or why not?

Yes. It’s the No. 1 issue facing people I have met while campaigning. How we get there has multiple possibilities. I’m not wedded to any particular form, but expanding Medicaid is a needed first step.

5) Do you support Question 1 (the 3.8% tax to fund the home care program)? Why, or why not?

Yes. As our population ages, there will be more need for these services, and workers are already underpaid. Funding it is a different question — it should become part of the general state budget.

6) Are you frustrated by the political sniping, exaggeration and even lies between the parties and their supporters that have threatened progress usually reached through respect and reasoned compromise? If so, what will you personally do to make the situation better?

Yes. This is the second most common complaint from voters. As a selectperson, we are used to working with everyone regardless of party, and being respectful of each other. I’ll do the same in Augusta.

7) Tell voters something about yourself that they don’t already know, and might surprise them.

On one canoe trip, my husband and I had no choice but to sleep in our canoe for two nights in a row. It was lovely.

Speed Round

Should voters be required to show ID at the polls?

No

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