#### Answer

p = 1300 points

#### Work Step by Step

p can represent the number of points the candidate had before being penalized.
Since we are given the information that the contestant is penalized 250 points, resulting in their new total of 1050 points, it can be represented by the equation:
p - 250 = 1050
To solve for p, add 250 to both sides of the equation. This results in:
p = 1300