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Destiny Wells

Source: WISH-TV/Lindsay Haake, Onward Upward Strategies)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The first declared Democratic candidate for attorney general on Monday said she would prioritize a return to serving Indiana’s needs first and adhering to professional rules of conduct.

Destiny Wells, the 2022 Democratic Party nominee for secretary of state, said she will seek her party’s nomination again in 2024, this time as attorney general. Wells’ resume includes service as a deputy attorney general, including under former attorney general Curtis Hill.

Wells said Attorney General Todd Rokita has prioritized chasing headlines and national media attention over serving the needs of Hoosiers. She specifically pointed to his handling of the case of Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who performed an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio shortly before state lawmakers enacted Indiana’s new abortion ban. The Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded Rokita early this month for his public comments on Bernard.

“We are looking to protect medical privacy for all Hoosiers,” she said, “and not to use the office in an abusive way, asking for investigative demands of other agencies, whether it be the Department of Health, or whether it be hospital corporations around Indiana.”

Wells faces an uphill battle in a general election. She took home 40% of the vote in last year’s secretary of state race, which did not feature an incumbent candidate in the general election after Indiana Republicans passed up Holli Sullivan in favor of Diego Morales. Wells said she believes she is better-positioned to run now because she has campaign infrastructure already in place from that first run. She also said she expects to benefit from the higher voter turnout presidential elections typically bring.

Indiana Republican Party Chair Anne Hathaway said in a statement, “Time and again, Democrat Destiny Wells has used her leadership position in the Indiana Democrat Party to try and push the radical Joe Biden agenda across the state. Indiana Republicans are looking forward to a robust campaign in which we will continue to support the rule of law and the Indiana Constitution.”

General election candidates for statewide offices other than the governor are chosen at state party conventions. The 2024 Indiana Democratic Party convention is set for July.