Zionsville lawyer announces challenge to Attorney General Hill

LaMonte Richardson | TheStatehouseFile.comZIONSVILLE CANDIDATE: John Westercamp announces that he will be running for Attorney General.

INDIANAPOLIS — Zionsville attorney John Westercamp announced last week that he will challenge embattled Attorney General Curtis Hill for the 2020 Republican nomination.

Thirty-year-old Westercamp has practiced law at Bose McKinney & Evans since 2014 where he focuses on representing clients in mergers and acquisitions matters and in negotiating, procuring and drafting economic development agreements.

“I feel like Indiana’s given me so many great opportunities, and it’s important that we keep a pro-life, principled, conservative Hoosier in the attorney general’s office next November,” he said at a news conference.

Westercamp formally announced his candidacy in Indianapolis and three other locations: Elkhart, Fort Wayne and Evansville.

Westercamp said he would bring a private sector perspective to the office because he works with small- and medium-sized Hoosier companies.

He said he would also like to address the number of robocalls across the state.

“Too little has been done to address this issue,” he said. “If elected, I would work with the state to negotiate contracts with telecom providers that would require those providers to use big data to reduce the number of robocalls Hoosiers receive on their cell phones.”

Hill, the current attorney general who has served since 2017, was accused of sexual misconduct after a March 2018 party at the end of the legislative session.

Four women — Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster; Niki DaSilva, a legislative assistant for Indiana Senate Republicans; Samantha Lozano, a legislative assistant for Indiana House Democrats; and Gabrielle McLemore, communications director for Indiana Senate Democrats — say Hill was drunk, made sexual comments and groped them.

Hill has denied any wrongdoing, threatened to sue his accusers and has refused to step down from his position despite Gov. Eric Holcomb and legislative leaders calling for his resignation.

“I think the distractions around the attorney general’s office is not good for the state of Indiana, and we need new leadership,” Westercamp said.

Last October, a special prosecutor appointed to look into the allegations, decided not to file charges against Hill. However, the Indiana Supreme Court disciplinary commission has filed a 10-page complaint against Hill, accusing him of committing both felony-level and misdemeanor battery while acting “with the selfish motive to arouse his sexual desires” in March.

A hearing on the disciplinary charges before retired Supreme Court Justice Myra Selby will be held starting Oct. 2. Hill could face the loss of his law license, which in turn could cost him his elective office because Indiana law requires the attorney general to be licensed to practice law.

The four women also filed a civil lawsuit against Hill and the state, claiming they have been subjected to harassment and discrimination since making their complaints more than a year ago.

Westercamp has never run for public office, but has served as a delegate to the Indiana Republican convention in 2008 and ‘14.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s in finance from Purdue University, and graduated from Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law in 2014.

Attorney general candidates are nominated at their party conventions and not by primary elections. The Indiana GOP will name a candidate at its 2020 state convention.

Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalists.

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