Ex-Evansville mayor enters Indiana attorney general race

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A former mayor of Evansville is the second Democrat seeking to unseat embattled Republican Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, setting up potential convention fights for the nomination next year in both political parties.

Jonathan Weinzapfel formally announced his campaign Tuesday, saying he would “restore honor and integrity to the attorney general’s office.”

Weinzapfel was Evansville’s mayor from 2004 until 2011 following five years as a state representative. After a brief tenure at the Faegre Baker Daniels law firm, he was appointed chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College’s Southwest campus in 2014. After recently stepping down, he has served as a partner at the Evansville law firm of Jones Wallace LLC since November.

The Evansville Courier & Press confirmed last month that Weinzapfel was exploring a bid for attorney general. Weinzapfel’s campaign on Dec. 6 filed a statement of organization for a political fundraising committee, listing Munster Democratic Party activist Ann Bochnowski as chairwoman and IU Health Director of Government Affairs Adairius Gardner as campaign treasurer.

A graduate of Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Weinzapfel was admitted to the practice of law in 2000.

Weinzapfel’s candidacy comes after Democratic state Sen. Karen Tallian of Ogden Dunes announced her bid for the attorney general nomination in August. The nominee will be picked during next summer’s state Democratic convention.

Hill is running for reelection without the support of Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state GOP leaders as he has resisted their calls for his resignation over allegations that he drunkenly groped four women at a bar last year. He denies wrongdoing and is awaiting the outcome of a professional misconduct complaint that threatens his law license.

Hill also has drawn a challenger for the Republican nomination. Bose McKinney & Evans attorney John Westercamp announced this summer he would seek the GOP nod in the AG race. 

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