Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis T. Hill Jr. sailed to a resounding victory in the Indiana attorney general race Tuesday, and voters retained four Court of Appeals judges by wide margins.
Hill’s margin of victory over Democratic candidate and former Lake County judge Lorenzo Arredondo was the widest of any statewide race. Hill won 62 percent of the vote compared to 38 percent for Arredondo. Hill will succeed two-term Attorney General Greg Zoeller.
Taking the stage in Indianapolis for his victory speech to supporters Tuesday night, Hill was accompanied by his wife, Teresa, and five children, who he thanked for their support during the rigors of a statewide campaign. Hill, 55, is the first African-American Republican elected to statewide office in Indiana.
Hill also thanked his late father, who he’s called the most courageous man he ever knew. As a young man, the senior Hill built a home for his family despite threats from neighbors who tried to force them out — threats that escalated to an attempted bombing of the family home where his 88-year-old mother still lives. Hill told supporters this was a time for courageous leadership.
“We’re going to take this country back by recognizing it’s up to us the people to have the courage to select people with courage to lead us into the future. We want people who will say what we mean and do what we say,” he told supporters.
He told IL in a candidates’ question-and-answer that his top priorities as AG would be defending freedom by fighting government overreach and burdensome regulations, protecting families from violent crime, drug abuse and high-tech crimes, and developing leadership initiatives to protect children from substance abuse and criminal behavior.
Hill said he listened to Hoosiers on the campaign trail and that his message was informed by their concerns. “They’ve told me their priorities, and I’ve made their priorities mine, and as your next attorney general, I will defend your freedom. As your next attorney general, I will protect your families. And ladies and gentlemen, as your next attorney general, I will inspire, we all will inspire, solutions to the problems that plague us the most,” Hill said.
“For me it’s about our Constitution and the role of limited government. We as conservatives can take on tough issues like poverty, like social justice, and we can do it with conservative principles and turn this country around,” he said. He promised “Bold, fresh leadership grounded in my firm belief in the promise of America and my faith in our loving God.”
Zoeller introduced Hill for his victory speech Tuesday night, noting he’d inherited the office from a Republican and was “glad to pass the baton” to Hill. Zoeller will exit public office in January after losing in a five-way Republican primary for U.S. House District 9. Republican Trey Hollingsworth was elected to that congressional seat.
Meanwhile, voters Tuesday retained four Indiana Court of Appeals judges by wide margins. First District Judge Edward W. Najam Jr. was retained with 70.5 percent of the vote. Second District Judge James S. Kirsch was retained with 74.6 percent. Third District Judge Terry Crone won retention with 72.1 percent, and Fourth District Judge Patricia A. Riley won retention with 75.5 percent.