(INDIANAPOLIS) — Republican Todd Rokita staged a political comeback in winning the Indiana attorney general’s office.
The former congressman defeated former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel in a race that Democrats had targeted in hopes of winning their first statewide election since 2012.
Rokita’s campaign announced Tuesday he had tested positive for COVID-19 after developing “some symptoms” but was doing well.
Rokita lost the 2018 Republican U.S. Senate primary but started his comeback by defeating current Attorney General Curtis Hill for the GOP nomination after Hill was tarnished by allegations that he drunkenly groped four women during a party.
Rokita cast himself as an unabashed President Donald Trump supporter with an aggressive law-and-order and anti-abortion agenda that will continue Hill’s tactics of joining Republican lawsuits against what they regard as federal overreach, such as the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”
Rokita released the following statement:
“I want to thank my fellow Hoosiers for the trust and confidence you have placed in me to serve as your next Attorney General. And thanks to my family, friends, co-workers, our great volunteers and all the men and women of good faith who wanted to make sure we had the best person for this important job.
“You know our state has come so far under commonsense conservative leadership over the last 15 years. We have become a leader in the nation in every category that matters. Now we must keep it that way.
“As a statewide officer holder I will continue to provide that same kind of pro-growth, limited government leadership which has allowed our state to succeed. In all things I will work to protect Indiana and put Hoosiers first.
“I will defend – not defund – our police, working with law enforcement to uphold the Rule of Law.
“I will work to stop waste, fraud, and corruption in government.
“I will work tirelessly to support our job creators and help restore – and grow – our economy.
“I will uphold the Constitution, both our 1st Amendment and 2nd Amendment Rights, for all Hoosiers regardless of background.
“I will protect the taxpayers because I will never forget those dollars come from hard working Hoosiers.
“I know our nation was founded on the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and I will defend the right to life.
“Working together, our best days are ahead us.
“Thank you again and God bless.”
Jonathan Weinzapfel, the Democratic candidate for Indiana Attorney General, released the following statement conceding the election.
“I want to congratulate Attorney General-elect Todd Rokita on his victory. While we are disappointed in the outcome, I could not be more proud of the effort we made and the issues we raised.
“As you’ve heard me say before, I entered this race because I didn’t like the direction the incumbent Attorney General was taking our state. We ran in response to his embarrassing personal behavior and partisan lawsuits that only hurt Hoosier families. We ran to restore honor, integrity and purpose to the office.And while our campaign fell short, I am proud of the issues we raised. From supporting the governor’s mask order, to opposing the ACA lawsuit, to issuing plans to help the state recover from the pandemic, to a plan to legalize marijuana to fund schools and make long overdue improvements to our criminal justice system – these were all issues that were worth raising – and will continue to be defining issues in our state.
“I want to thank my campaign team: Bill Stuart, Kristen Self, Kristin Jones, James Powell, Jeff Harris, Lara Beck, Jason Critchlow, Nolan Born, Greg Ulrich, Cindy Collier, Rep. Ryan Hatfield, Adam Kirsch, Conner Klotz, our consultants and the Democratic Attorney General Association for their great work, support, and professionalism.
“And, thank you to all of my supporters, contributors and all of the passionate Hoosiers I met on the campaign trail. You inspired me in a time when we all really need a little inspiration. Most importantly, I want to thank my family. My wife, Patricia, and our children, Nathaniel, Benjamin, and Eleanor, were with me every step of the way, through the ups and downs, always fighting my fights with me. My sisters drove me all over this state, fed me, and provided lodging through the campaign. And, my Dad and other siblings cheered me on at every step.
“My only regret is that my father in law and my mother were not able to share this experience with me and our family. They would have had plenty of advice to offer and would want to know every single detail. They would have loved the campaign.
“Our state and nation have a lot of healing to do, and while I may not be the next Attorney General, I plan to remain an active citizen fighting for causes and issues I believe in. I hope all my supporters do too. The fight is not over.”