ELKHART — An Indianapolis attorney challenging Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill for the Republican nomination in 2020 will be presented at a news conference in Elkhart on Thursday.
John Westercamp is an attorney at Bose McKinney & Evans, where he specializes in representing clients in mergers and acquisitions and in negotiating, procuring and drafting economic development agreements, according to the law firm's website.
His biography also states that he has been a legal adviser to Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis.
Westercamp has a B.S. in management and M.S. in finance from Purdue University and received a law degree from Indiana University's Maurer School of Law in 2014. He served as a summer law clerk for Justice Steven David for the Indiana Supreme Court and Judge Melissa May for the Indiana Court of Appeals, according to Bose McKinney & Evans.
Hill, a first-term attorney general who previously served as prosecuting attorney for Elkhart County, has refused calls for his resignation from leading Republicans in the state, including Bosma and Gov. Eric Holcomb, in the wake of accusations of sexual misconduct.
Four women have accused the attorney general of groping them at a bar in March 2018. Daniel Sigler, the special prosecutor in the case, decided in October to not charge Hill with a crime, though he said he did believe the accusers, who recently filed a lawsuit against Hill and the state. Hill denies any wrongdoing.
Westercamp will travel the state on Thursday to announce his candidacy and will be at LEX 530, 530 E. Lexington Ave., in Elkhart at 12:30 p.m. The public is invited.
State Rep. Timothy Wesco, R-Osceola, will introduce Westercamp in Elkhart.
“I’m excited about John’s candidacy and his ability to restore honor and respect to the office of Attorney General,” Wesco said in a release. “He is a driven, capable, and honorable man who will represent our Republican party and our state with conservative values and integrity. I look forward to introducing him to my community on Thursday.”
Wesco said in a phone interview that, even if he agrees with many of Hill's policy positions, the sexual misconduct allegations have made him unfit to be the party's nominee.
"The messenger is really important and the messenger needs to have credibility, and I think Curtis Hill has lost credibility in our state," he said.
Wesco described the call for Hill's resignation or impeachment as a "knee-jerk reaction," but he said replacing Hill at the convention would be the right step to take.
Westercamp visited Goshen on June 15, speaking to Elkhart County Republicans at the party headquarters. Wesco said he wasn't at that event, but that his conversations with people in the area suggest that Westercamp will be able to garner support here, despite Elkhart County being Hill's home.
Elkhart County Republican Chair Dan Holtz said Hill continues to enjoy a high level of support in Elkhart County. But, Holtz said, Westercamp's decision to come to Elkhart so early shows he is serious.
Westercamp will start a tour of the state on Thursday in Indianapolis before traveling to Elkhart, Fort Wayne and Evansville.
The Republican nominee for attorney general will be selected at the state party convention next year.
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