Indiana Daily Student

Voter guide: Indiana Attorney general election

<p>Pictured from left to right: Todd Rokita, Jonathan Weinzapfel</p>

Pictured from left to right: Todd Rokita, Jonathan Weinzapfel

The Indiana Daily Student sent a list of questions to the candidates in elections in the region and state. Throughout the next week, we will be publishing the candidates’ responses.

Two candidates are running for Indiana attorney generalin Indiana. Todd Rokita, the Republican candidate, won against the incumbent, Curtis Hill, in the primary.

Jonathan Weinzapfel

Weinzapfel is the Democratic candidate for attorney general. He served as the mayor of Evansville, Indiana, for two terms from 2004 to 2011.

Do you support Gov. Eric Holcomb’s mask mandate?

Yes. In fact, I was the only candidate to come out and support Governor Holcomb's mask order. I believe in science and listening to public health experts. Wearing a mask is essential to stopping the spread and keeping Hoosiers safe. (My statement can be found here.)

Did Indiana move to Stage 5 too soon?

I would defer to the public health experts on this, but given Indiana's recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the move to Stage 5 is concerning. 

What’s your top priority if elected?

As attorney general, my top priority will be protecting Hoosier's health care. On day one of my administration, I will remove Indiana from a partisan lawsuit that seeks to destroy the Affordable Care Act.  If successful, the lawsuit would eliminate the option for unemployed Hoosiers to access health care through the ACA exchanges. It would also strip away coverage for the estimated 168,000 Hoosier families who currently rely on the exchanges for permanent coverage and would jeopardize funding for the state’s HIP 2.0 program, which covers more than 500,000 Hoosiers. Additionally, the lawsuit would gut protections that prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions or charging more for it. This would affect more than 2.7 million Hoosiers, not including those who have been exposed to COVID-19. 

Do you support reallocating police funds to other services?

As a former mayor, the idea of defunding the police is nonsense. We need to invest more dollars in public safety to rebuild trust in our communities. That means more and better training for officers, new technology like body cams for all police departments across the state and creating a more fair and just criminal justice system that recognizes the humanity in each of us. I also support establishing drug courts in every county to create alternative treatment options, developing statewide use of force guidelines, banning chokeholds and on taking steps to ensure we protect police departments and our communities from bad officers. Finally, as a former chancellor of Ivy Tech, I will work to reduce Indiana's high recidivism rate through new job training programs.      

Do you support legalizing marijuana?

While this is a decision for the Indiana General Assembly, I support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, much like is happening in Marion County. I also support the use of medicinal marijuana. 

What is the most important thing Indiana should do to address climate change?

As attorney general, I will go after those that violate our environmental laws and put Hoosiers and our communities at risk. I will also be an advocate of common-sense reforms that keep our communities and citizens safe and healthy. 

What is your position on abortion rights?

I believe Roe v. Wade is settled law. 

How will you address rising student debt?

Using the office's consumer protection division, I would go after any organization that attempts to take advantage of students using predatory or dishonest practices. 

Do you support raising the minimum wage? If so, by how much?

While the attorney general has no direct impact on this issue, I would work to better enforce Indiana's workplace laws. This includes ensuring all Hoosiers are paid what they earned, fighting workplace discrimination, supporting collective bargaining rightsand ensuring safety standards are being met. (My full plan can be viewed here.)

Todd Rokita

Rokita did not respond to the IDS's questions.

Rokita is the Republican candidate for attorney general. He has served as the Indiana Secretary of State and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2018, but lost the primary.

The IDS voter guide includes candidates who are on the ballot in contested elections.

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