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Weinzapfel: Health Care a Vulnerability for Whoever Wins GOP Nod for AG

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Democrats’ nominee for attorney general will have to wait more than three weeks to find out who he’s running against.

Former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel says he jumped into the race because of the groping
allegations against Attorney General Curtis Hill, which ultimately led to the 30-day suspension of Hill’s law license, and because of Hill’s support for a lawsuit challenging the federal health care law. Hill’s three Republican challengers contend the groping incident puts the seat at risk if Hill is the nominee.

But Weinzapfel contends all four Republicans have been silent on the issues most on the minds of
Hoosiers: criminal justice reform and ways the office can respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Weinzapfel argues Republicans’ 10-year push to unravel the Affordable Care Act puts them out of touch with Hoosiers, especially with a pandemic going on. And he says he’d push for more transparency in how nursing homes are taking care of their parents. The Indiana State Department of Health has released statewide tallies of coronavirus cases and deaths in nursing homes but has consistently refused to release data on individual facilities.

At last week’s Republican convention, Hill boasted of his role in the lawsuit challenging the health care law. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in October.

Weinzapfel finds common ground with Hill on one issue, supporting the state’s lawsuit to hold opioid
manufacturers liable for addiction-related issues. But Weinzapfel also supports Senate Democrats’ call to decriminalize marijuana, an issue on which Hill has been vocally opposed. Weinzapfel argues marijuana charges contribute to jail overcrowding, for an act that’s already lawful in several states. Cases put a strain on jails and widen a racial divide in the justice system.

Democrats haven’t won the attorney general’s office since 1996, or any statewide office since 2012.

Republicans would ordinarily select their nominee a week after Democrats, but the pandemic forced both state conventions online, with voting conducted by mail. Republicans will announce July 10 whether their nominee is Hill, former Congressman Todd Rokita, Decatur County Prosecutor Nate Harter, or Zionsville attorney John Westercamp.

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