EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Both candidates for Indiana Attorney General visited Vanderburgh County Tuesday.
Former Evansville mayor and Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel spent time at the early voting center in the Old National Events Plaza, while his opponent, Republican Todd Rokita, received an endorsement from the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police.
“Todd truly is a friend of law enforcement," says Toby Deaton, vice president of the Indiana FOP. "On behalf of over 14,000 members across the state, we proudly endorse Todd Rokita and pledge to help him become the next Attorney General of Indiana.”
Republican Candidate for Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita receiving the endorsement from the Indiana branch of the nation’s largest law enforcement police organization.
“Whichever way this campaign goes," says Rokita, "this is certainly a highlight for our campaign.”
On Tuesday, he received that backing in the hometown of his opponent, former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.
“Although it’s the home of my opponent," says Rokita, "I’m no stranger here. When I was secretary of state and afterwards, I came to this city and this county every year.”
Weinzapfel was also in Vanderburgh County Tuesday. He spoke with voters in downtown Evansville during the Vanderburgh County Democrat’s Early Vote Rally. He recognized the FOP’s endorsement by saying it would not have much effect on his campaign.
“I’m the only one in this race that has actually run a police department," says Weinzapfel. "I’ve received the endorsement of the local FOP time and time again when I’ve run my campaigns.”
On the topic of law enforcement, there was one message both candidates held front and center.
“It’s critical that we stand behind our law enforcement," says Rokita. "It’s critical that we defend, not defund, our police.”
“I think the idea of defunding the police is complete nonsense," says Weinzapfel. "In fact, I would suggest we actually need to increase funding for law enforcement.”
Regardless of party, both candidates praised the residents waiting in long lines to cast their vote on the first day of early voting.
“That’s a sign of a vibrant republic," says Rokita.