Republican Rokita wins Indiana attorney general race

Republican Todd Rokita has staged a political comeback in winning the Indiana attorney general’s office.

Posted: Nov 3, 2020 10:31 PM
Updated: Nov 3, 2020 11:27 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Republican Todd Rokita has 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.”

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, the Republican candidate for Indiana attorney general, has tested positive for COVID-19 after developing “some symptoms," his campaign announced Tuesday.

Rokita, who faces Democratic candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel in Tuesday’s statewide election, had been quarantining with his family after he was informed “by a person unconnected to any campaign activities that he was exposed to COVID-19,” Rokita’s campaign said in a statement.

“Todd just recently tested positive after developing some symptoms. He is doing well and working from home,” the campaign said, adding that Rokita would watch Tuesday’s election returns at home with his family.

The race for the Indiana attorney general’s office was the most-contested statewide campaign for this year’s election ballot.

Democrats looking to break the stranglehold Republicans have over state government spent months castigating current Republican

Attorney General Curtis Hill over allegations that he drunkenly groped four women during a party, only to see Rokita narrowly defeat Hill for the GOP nomination in July.

Weinzapfel, a former Evansville mayor, said during the campaign he wanted to tone down partisanship in the office of state government’s top lawyer.

Rokita countered 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.”

Weinzapfel said he saw no difference between Rokita and Hill over what he called “gross politicization of the office.”

Rokita avoided defending Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb against conservative critics of the coronavirus-related executive orders he’s issued since March, including restrictions on personal movement, forcing some businesses to close and a statewide mask mandate.

Rokita won statewide elections as secretary of state in 2002 and 2006 before he held a central Indiana congressional seat for eight years. He lost a 2018 bid for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination to Mike Braun and unsuccessfully sought the party’s 2016 nomination for governor after then-Gov. Mike Pence became Trump’s vice presidential running mate.

Rokita has faced several controversies, including allegations that his congressional staffers often felt obligated to do political work to help his campaigns. And a 2018 Associated Press analysis of state and congressional spending records revealed that Rokita had spent more than $3 million in public money on advertising campaigns that often coincided with his bids for office.

With Holcomb holding big fundraising and organization advantages for his reelection campaign, Weinzapfel was trying to break the streak of Democratic defeats in statewide races that stretches back to the 2012 election. Republicans also hold commanding majorities in the Legislature, giving Democrats little influence in state government.

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

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