AG Rokita to be unopposed at Indiana GOP convention

Seeking a second term, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita will be unopposed at the state Republican convention next month—securing him as the party’s nominee in the November election.

Despite speculation that others might challenge him for the office, Rokita was the only GOP candidate to file with Indiana’s GOP office by the deadline, said party spokesperson Griffin Reid.

Candidates who wished to run for attorney general and lieutenant governor at the Republican state convention had until Thursday at 5 p.m. to file their paperwork.

In addition to the attorney general nominee, delegates this summer will make official the parties’ selections for lieutenant governor nominees.

Republican delegates will choose between Rep. Julie McGuire, R-Indianapolis—who was chosen by GOP gubernatorial nominee Sen. Mike Braun as his running mate—and ultra-conservative pastor Micah Beckwith, of Noblesville.

Democrats wanting to pursue the lieutenant governor nomination at the party’s July convention have until noon on May 31 to file their candidacy.

The Republican attorney general officially filed for the convention in April. He’s held the office since January 2021.

Although Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings previously sent a letter to county party officials about his potential interest in the attorney general position, he did not file by Thursday’s party deadline. He did not respond to the Indiana Capital Chronicle’s request for comment.

In his February letter, Cummings expressed concern that Rokita “may not be eligible to hold office” because he is “likely to be suspended” at some point as the result of several misconduct complaints before the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission.

Rokita was reprimanded late last year for his televised comments about Indianapolis doctor Caitlin Bernard, who oversaw a medication abortion for a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio in 2022.

Bernard, an OB-GYN, was later disciplined before the Medical Licensing Board for discussing the procedure publicly.

New complaints have since been filed against Rokita, which are still working through the disciplinary process. There are no pending charges against Rokita, according to the Indiana Supreme Court, though he could still face additional discipline — which has the potential to jeopardize his law license.

Speculations earlier this year also named state Sen. Aaron Freeman, R-Indianapolis, and Hamilton County Republican Party Chair Mario Massillamany as potential Rokita challengers. Neither ultimately filed with the state GOP office, however.

Hoosier state delegates for both the Republican and Democratic parties are responsible for deciding the attorney general nominee for the party, rather than primary election voters. The 2024 Indiana GOP State Convention is scheduled for June 14-15.

Rokita will face the winner selected by Democratic delegates at that party’s convention slated for July 13.

Destiny Wells, who unsuccessfully ran for Indiana Secretary of State in 2020, and Beth White, an attorney and president and CEO of the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault and Human Trafficking, have so far announced their intentions to run for the Democratic party’s attorney general nomination.

“It speaks volumes that the Indiana Republican Party is sticking with Todd Rokita, despite his attacks on Hoosier medical professionals and lack of respect for the rule of law, which earned him a public reprimand from the Indiana Supreme Court,” said Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl in a Thursday evening statement. “Hoosiers deserve an Attorney General that fights for them every day against special interests, and to protect their freedoms. Instead, Rokita’s term has become about his own partisan political games that are undermining the confidence Hoosiers have in the AG office.”

A former congressman and Indiana Secretary of State, Rokita successfully challenged then-incumbent Attorney General Curtis Hill for the Republican nomination in 2020.

In the general election, he won against Democratic nominee Jonathan Weinzapfel, a former mayor of Evansville. Rokita’s win marked the sixth consecutive election in which Republicans retained control of the state attorney general’s office.

By Casey Smith – The Indiana Capital Chronicle is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that covers state government, policy and elections.