Just a few short years ago, Curtis Hill, the former Elkhart County Prosecutor, was a rising star in Indiana Republican politics, but allegations of a drunken groping incident nearly three years ago appear to have diminished his standing.
The race for attorney general appears to be shaping into a wide-open race with challengers from both parties viewing him as vulnerable.
Two Republicans say they will seek to challenge Hill, who was accused of drunkenly groping women at an Indianapolis bar. The Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission is weighing whether to punish Hill over the matter.
Among those contemplating a run is Adam Krupp who formally announced last week he would resign as state revenue department commissioner to challenge Hill for the attorney general nomination in June’s state Republican convention, according to news reports. Another Republican who is considering a challenge to Hill is attorney John Westercamp from central Indiana.
Gov. Eric Holcomb, who earlier called on Hill to resign, is apparently holding back talk of endorsements until after the court makes a decision.
Democrats eyeing a run for the office include State Sen. Karen Tallian and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.
The outlook on the legalization of marijuana from the attorney general’s office would likely change if Tallian were elected. She’s has a bill in the legislature that would reduce the penalty for the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana to an infraction for a first offense, which means an officer could simply give them a ticket.
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WESCO BILLS – There are hundreds of bills awaiting consideration in the General Assembly, but two with support from State Rep. Tim Wesco involving Indiana election laws caught my eye.
The Republican from Elkhart County who represents District 21, is authoring a bill that would extend polling hours to 8 p.m. for counties using vote centers (Kosciusko County is not there yet). The bill would also allow changes to vote center policy with a majority vote of all members of a county election board. Current law requires such action to be taken by the unanimous vote of a county election board, the bill says.
Another bill that Wesco is co-authoring would allow towns and cities with a population of 3,500 to move municipal elections to even-numbered years.
Baby steps, I guess.
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TOUGH SELL – In an odd moment captured on video, Indiana US Sen. Mike Braun had an exchange with a reporter that raised a few eyebrows concerning the impeachment of President Donald Trump over his actions involving Ukraine. A reporter asked Braun if it is okay for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival and withhold foreign aid to coerce him into doing so? Braun replied “No, I’m not saying that’s okay. I’m not saying that’s appropriate. I’m saying that it didn’t happen.”
Soon afterward, Braun tweeted: “They’re trying to build a circumstantial case for quid pro quo when there wasn’t an actual quid pro quo. That’s going to be a tough sell. Most folks from where I’m from are suspicious of the origin in the first place.”
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WINONA LAKE? – A report that looked at the highest and lowest percentages of residents with post-graduate degrees by zip code, released by UnitedStatesZipcodes.org, had a weird little fact that jumped out.
According to the report, Winona Lake’s Zip code, 46590, has one of the lowest percentages of residents who have post-graduate degrees with just 14.2 percent. Others near the bottom included Newburgh, Santa Claus, Amboy, Huntertown, Munster, Bloomington, Nashville and Indianapolis.
Zip codes with the highest percentage were found in Beverly Shores (42.2), West Lafayette, Bloomington, Fort Wayne, South Bend, Carmel and Zionsville, among others.
You can find the report here.
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GOP SCHEDULE – Here’s a look at some local Republican activities, according to a list provided by the party:
- April 1, Republican Spring Fish Fry, Kosciusko County Fairgrounds
- July 22, Kosciusko County Republican Golf Outing, Rozella Golf Course, Warsaw
- October 7, Republican Fall Fish Fry, Kosciusko County Fairgrounds
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Dan Spalding is the editor at InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.