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Curtis Hill, an ex-attorney general, is considering running for governor



Indianapolis, Indiana – Nearly three years after his reelection campaign was wrecked by accusations that he drunkenly propositioned four women at a party, the former Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill is debating whether to run for governor as a Republican in 2024.

During his tenure in office, Hill gained support among social conservatives, and his inclusion into the race for governor may complicate what is already a costly contest for the Republican nominee. Republican Governor Eric Holcomb, who is unable to run for re-election due to term limitations, is already facing competition from U.S. Senator Mike Braun, Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, and Fort Wayne businessman Eric Doden.

As he and his wife “are carefully praying for guidance,” Hill said in a statement sent to The Associated Press by his political consulting firm, he anticipates making a decision in the upcoming weeks.

“At a time when Hoosiers are hungry for fresh leadership, it is crucial that we distinguish between those who genuinely represent conservative values and those who simply say they do,” Hill said. “Our state deserves a proven conservative who has the guts to challenge the Indianapolis status quo and the grit to stand up against the Washington, D.C., crowd.”

After serving as Elkhart County’s prosecutor for 14 years in northern Indiana, Hill, 62, was elected to the position of state attorney general in 2016. Hill had established himself as a rising African American star among Republicans and campaigned against abortion and for a tougher approach to criminal justice. He frequently appeared on Fox News to discuss issues like San Francisco’s homelessness crisis.

After claims that he had molested the ladies during a party in 2018 at an Indianapolis bar came to light, Hill was confronted with requests for his resignation from Holcomb and numerous other state Republican officials. Hill disputed involvement, but the state Supreme Court ordered a 30-day suspension of his legal license after concluding “by clear and convincing evidence that (Hill) committed the criminal act of battery” at the party against three female legislative aides and a state lawmaker.

He barely lost the Republican attorney general nomination for reelection in 2020 to Todd Rokita, who began office in January 2021. The allegations were a major campaign topic.

Hill’s effort at a political comeback last year was unsuccessful when he lost a vote among Republican members of the precinct committee to replace U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski on the ballot after she was killed in a car accident. For the 2nd District seat in northern Indiana, business executive Rudy Yakym won the GOP primary and the general election.

Despite coming in second place, Hill still had a base of supporters and could further alienate conservative voters in a close race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, according to Steve Shine, who has served as the county’s Republican chairman for more than 30 years and includes Fort Wayne, the state’s second-largest city.

“Add that to what he has had to go through, because if it was so damning, he wouldn’t have been in second place. He would have been at the end of the pack rather than at the top of it,” said Shine, who hasn’t endorsed any candidate.

Hill, on the other hand, would start the race with a significant funding deficit.

With campaign bank accounts close to or over $3 million at the beginning of this year, Braun, Crouch, and Doden have all subsequently raised at least tens of thousands more. According to Hill’s state campaign, it had around $20,000 by the end of 2022.

Whoever wins the Republican nomination will want to maintain the party’s stranglehold on the state, which has seen it win five consecutive governorships since 2004. The lone declared candidate for the Democratic candidacy for governor is former state schools chief Jennifer McCormick, who was elected as a Republican in 2016 with Hill and Holcomb but later left the Statehouse GOP.

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