Indiana Republicans call off in-person state convention

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The Indiana Republican Party’s in-person state convention was called off because of the coronavirus outbreak on Tuesday, with mail-in voting by delegates to decide the GOP’s contentious nomination for state attorney general.

Indiana Democrats announced a month ago they were switching to a virtual convention, but state GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer said party leaders waited as long as they could before deciding on the same step rather than holding the June 20 convention in Indianapolis as scheduled.

“This was the only option — with the uncertainty of future restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic — that provided certainty that our delegates would be able to vote for our party’s nominees,” Hupfer said.

Republicans now plan to have the attorney general candidates, Gov. Eric Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch give speeches on June 18 that will be livestreamed online and broadcast by WISH-TV of Indianapolis.

Indiana Democrats will have a similar livestream and broadcast of speeches by candidates for statewide office on June 4 on WISH-TV, followed by their online convention June 13.

At least two Republicans are challenging embattled Attorney General Curtis Hill for the GOP nomination. The state Supreme Court on Monday ordered a 30-day suspension of Hill’s law license for groping four women during a party. Decatur County Prosecutor Nate Harter and Indianapolis attorney John Westercamp have announced their candidacy for the Republican nomination and former Rep. Todd Rokita has expressed interest.

State Sen. Karen Taillian of Ogden Dunes and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel are seeking the Democratic Party nomination in the attorney general race.

Republican delegates will have until July 9 to return mail ballots for the attorney general nomination, with those votes being counted the next day, Hupfer said.

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