GOP AG Candidates Make Their Pleas
By Taylor Dixon
INDIANAPOLIS— The four Republican candidates running for Indiana Attorney General laid out their views Thursday in the first-ever virtual GOP state convention.
Incumbent Curtis Hill spoke just days after his 30-day suspension from practicing law ended. Hill had been accused in 2019 of groping a female lawmaker and three legislative staff members, one of them a Republican, at a party in March 2018.
Many Indiana elected officials, including Hills’s fellow Republican, Gov. Eric Holcomb, had asked Hill to step down. Several investigations followed. Ultimately, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended Hill and said he had engaged in “criminal conduct.”
Hill is running for a second term. He faces three other candidates: former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Indiana, Decatur County Prosecutor Nate Harter, and attorney John Westercamp.
Hill talked about his continued efforts to restrict abortion, protect the Second Amendment, and preserve religious freedom. He cited the record 1.6 million votes he received four years ago.
“I’m not perfect. No one is. But like President Trump I have faced accusations and investigations designed to destroy me politically,” Hill said.
Rokita also said he was anti-abortion, pro-gun rights, for religious freedom, and in favor of cutting taxes. Rokita called out Hill for not owning up to his actions and for wasting his budget on things such as cars, furniture, and chandeliers.
Harter promised to protect Hoosiers. He said he would go to court for Indiana and make the tough, right choices, no matter the political risks. He also spoke about running his team as efficiently as possible.
Westercamp talked about his real-world, broad-based experience that would lead Hoosiers in the right direction. He also said he was going to fight for the private sector, preserve the right to life, and reduce taxpayers’ burden by limiting office expenses.
“As long as my lungs have breath, as long as my bones have strength, and as long as my heart beats I will defend and advance Indiana’s public pro-life policies,” Westercamp said.
Holcomb cited the 100,000 new jobs and decreased unemployment shown in the last four years. He also spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic and said Indiana had addressed the health crisis well.
State GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer closed by describing the changes delegates will see when they vote for the four attorney general nominees.
Ballots will be sent out to delegates June 22 and are due via mail no later than 5 p.m. July 9. Delegates will use a ranking system for voting, with the delegates choosing their first, second, third, and fourth preferences.
The first candidate who claims more than 50 percent of the first-place votes wins. If that doesn’t happen in the first or second round, the last-place finisher is eliminated from the competition.
FOOTNOTE: Taylor Dixon is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.