Indiana GOP picks candidates for attorney general, superintendent

Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill Jr. defeated three other candidates to win the Republican nomination for Indiana attorney general on Saturday.

Delegates to the Indiana GOP's state convention selected Hill over state Sen. Randy Head, former Republican Attorney General Steve Carter and Assistant Attorney General Abby Kuzma after three rounds of balloting.

"I look forward to energizing this party," Hill said.

He told delegates he will fight to protect Indiana residents from "an alarming rise" in substance abuse and violence and will oppose "any and all" overreach by the federal government.

Hill will face retired Lake County Circuit Court Judge Lorenzo Arrendondo, a Democrat who served 34 years before leaving the bench in 2011, in the general election. They're vying to replace Greg Zoeller, who's running for Congress rather than seeking another term as attorney general.

Republicans also selected Yorktown Community Schools Superintendent Jennifer McCormick as the GOP nominee for state superintendent of public instruction.

McCormick, who defeated Dawn Wooten for the nomination, is now looking to unseat incumbent Democrat Glenda Ritz in November.

In her speech to the convention, McCormick said Indiana must continue to reject national Common Core learning standards. She said "days of reckless testing must end" and that she knows what it takes to recruit the best teachers.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody said in an emailed statement that Republicans had finalized an "out-of-touch" ticket that's pushed a "radical social agenda." He said the GOP is "aiming to throw the state backward."

The attorney general nomination required three ballots because no candidate won a majority in the first two contests.

Kuzma was the lowest vote-getter in the first round and was eliminated, while Head was dropped after finishing last in the second round. Hill — who led in all three ballots — defeated Carter in the final tally, earning a majority and the nomination.

Hill has served four terms as Elkhart County's top prosecutor.

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