INDIANAPOLIS — Meet Jonathan Weinzapfel. He’s the former mayor of Evansville, served five years in the general assembly, and most recently, as the chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville. Now, he’s running for Attorney General.
“These are some real challenging times for Hoosiers and I think what they’re looking for is leadership,” says Weinzapfel. “Whether that’s Democrat or Republican, someone who can work across the aisle and who’s going to focus on getting things done. And frankly that is my entire experience as chancellor and as mayor of the city.”
He says he understands the uncertainty many people are feeling right now.
“You have folks who are worried about their jobs. We have 8% unemployment in the state. People worried about their health care. Parents sending their kids to school and are they going to a safe educational environment? Or if they’re thinking about putting a loved one in a nursing home. You really have no idea what the conditions are in many of those facilities,” says the candidate.
With the unease and unrest of the world we’re living in, the Democrat contender is calling for real changes to the criminal justice system.
“We have to build community trust between the community and law-enforcement. Law enforcement officers will tell you that the current path we are on is unsustainable. We have to make changes. I would suggest that I would be a smart and tough Attorney General and you can do both.”
In terms of healthcare, he wants the Affordable Care Act to stay, unlike his opponent Todd Rokita.
“First is pulling Indiana out of the lawsuit to find the ACA unconstitutional. That’s probably job one,” he says. “The second is there are a couple operators of virtual charter schools that have swindled roughly about $70-$80 million in taxpayer funds by artificially inflating enrollment.”
Weinzapfel has received several endorsements during this election. One of those being from teachers, including the state’s superintendent of public instruction.
“It’s not just the Teachers Association, it’s also the state building trades, AFL-CIO, and of course being able to demonstrate strong bipartisan support with Dr. Jennifer McCormick‘s endorsement. That really speaks volumes that I am the person who can reach across the aisle that can work in concert with just about anybody,” says Weinzapfel.
He says there needs to be changes in our state to protect and serve everyone, and feels, he’s the guy to do it.
“There really is no going back. Things have changed dramatically. We have to make sure that we are re-imagining Indiana’s future so that we can create opportunity for everybody. And have a fair and more just system to provide opportunities for every Hoosier.”