The four candidates vying for the Republican nomination for attorney general made pitches to state party delegates Thursday in a virtual convention broadcast. The in-person convention was canceled this year due to COVID-19.
The two front-runners, former Congressman and Secretary of State Todd Rokita and incumbent Attorney General Curtis Hill, didn’t shy away from talking about the sexual misconduct charges that have put Hill’s candidacy at risk.
The Indiana Supreme Court temporarily suspended Curtis Hill’s law license for committing criminal battery against four women. In addressing that, Hill compared himself to President Donald Trump, saying they both faced politically-motivated accusations and investigations.
“Both President Trump and I are wounded, some would say, and yes, we are both warriors with battle scars,” Hill says.
Rokita says Hill’s behavior put the office at risk for Republicans.
“He’s not a martyr," Rokita says. "We are the ones being railroaded and our conservative gains will fall victim when we lose in November.”
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Decatur County Prosecutor Nate Harter, another challenger, did not mention Hill by name in his remarks but did criticize the incumbent.
“We can turn the page on this sordid chapter in the history of our state … the power to banish the dark cloud of unfulfilled potential, broken promises and fractured relationships is and always was firmly in your hands,” Harter says.
Attorney John Westercamp also didn’t use Hill’s name. Nor did he make any reference to Hill’s personal behavior. Instead, he saved his jabs for Hill’s job performance.
“As taxpayers, you and I are paying half a million dollars a year on unnecessary office space that’s being leased by the current attorney general," Westercamp says. "That is unacceptable.”
All four candidates discussed their backgrounds and conservative bona fides, including anti-abortion stances and promotion of the 2nd Amendment.
Indiana Republican Party delegates will vote via mail-in ballot by July 9. A winner is expected to be announced July 10.