It looks like former Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter may be running for his old job.
Carter served from 2001-2009. He sent out the following e-mail to state Republican leaders saying his forming an exploratory committee to run for the office…
Dear Republican Leader,
Today, I am taking the necessary steps to explore a campaign for attorney general. Having served in that office from 2001-2009, I know the value of checking with, and trusting the instincts of, local leaders and opinion shapers like you before committing to major decisions that affect our common purpose. After you review my message, I hope to hear your thoughts and ideas about a 2016 campaign.
In keeping with that trust, I plan to travel the state over several weeks to resume a conversation with Republican leaders and grassroots activists who were so important to me during my two terms as attorney general. I want to carefully listen to your concerns and suggestions about the future direction of our state.
During my tenure as attorney general, I was successful in accomplishing the goals I outlined before assuming office. Having achieved those goals, I welcomed the opportunity to spend more time with my family by returning to the private sector. I am now exploring a campaign for attorney general for much the same reason that I had the first time – I want to make a positive difference in the lives of all Hoosiers. A commitment is required, and attorney general is the only elected position I have ever pursued. After consultation with many of you, should I decide to seek the office again, my sole focus will be on becoming the best attorney general I can be, fully committed to that office and the people of Indiana.
Governor Pence, along with Governor Daniels before him, with the legal assistance of Attorney General Zoeller and our Republican legislators, have done a tremendous job of leading our state through tumultuous economic times. But even with their best efforts, our state will face great challenges beyond 2016. Creative plans and ideas will be necessary. I believe the mutual trust I share with Hoosiers across our state, built up during my previous time as attorney general, would allow me as the state’s top lawyer to provide the necessary legal guidance to carry these plans and ideas forward in a successful fashion.
When I became attorney general in 2001, many challenges were placed before me. Gas gougers had taken advantage of the panic that followed the 9/11 attacks. And telemarketers, with the help of their lobbyists, had shattered the peaceful silence that used to accompany the family dinner hour.
My new team went to work, and we built one of the most successful administrations the attorney general’s office has known. The changes and improvements we made to the office were far reaching, and most of you are familiar with the results. We put in place, along with the legislature, the nation’s toughest Do Not Call law and defended it from numerous legal challenges by telemarketers at both the state and federal levels. In addition, the gas gougers paid consumers back their overcharges or donated a like amount to charity.
I also became the first state elected official to aggressively take on public corruption in East Chicago, arguing before the state supreme court to overturn the results of the 2003 city elections and convict more than 50 individuals of voter fraud. Later, after I filed the first-ever civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuit against a city, the former mayor of East Chicago was found liable of those charges and ordered to pay a judgment of over $100 million.
We also defended our legislature’s right to open its sessions with prayer.
We successfully defended Indiana’s new Voter ID law all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, resulting in a landmark election law decision. And we achieved that victory with one of our own home-grown, Indiana lawyers. I also didn’t hesitate to tackle disputes that sometimes appeared to be no-win situations, such as the 40-year-old conflict between Conner Prairie and Earlham College. Our solution allowed both institutions to move forward as thriving, independent, operating entities.
Because of our successes, the legislature frequently asked me to take on new programs and enhance existing ones. In addition to establishing a unit to enforce Telephone Privacy, we added Identity Theft and Homeowner Protection units and greatly expanded the outreach efforts of the state’s unclaimed property division, resulting in a return of over $100 million to Indiana households.
Through the course of these accomplishments and challenges, I gained a level of knowledge and experience with our state government that will be instrumental to future success if I decide to seek to become the state’s chief legal officer. This level of executive legal experience would allow me to hit the ground running if voters choose to give me the honor of serving as their attorney general.
Many of you know that I was born in Lafayette and grew up on our family farm near Hebron in northwest Indiana. My mother was a teacher and, as you can imagine, receiving a good education was paramount in our home. After college, I started a small grain-buying business and a few years later continued my education at Indiana University, earning both law and master of business administration degrees.
From the business community to the family farm, I have a good understanding of the importance of ensuring that our state has a regulatory climate that is conducive to successful businesses, both large and small. At the same time, I have demonstrated the courage and conviction to stand up for Indiana consumers when they have been cheated or harassed by unfair business practices, telemarketers and price gougers. At the time of my re-election to a second term as attorney general in 2004, the trust the voters placed in me resulted in the highest vote total to that date for a state elected official in Indiana history. I am one of the very few Republicans to carry Marion County in recent years. Many of you were responsible for the success of my campaigns, and I remain grateful for your support.
Politics as usual can no longer be condoned at any level of government. Voters are more aware of what government is doing and what government should do. Elected officials must be attentive to the will of the people. I believe my record of service will resonate today as it did in the past. As you can see from my accomplishments, I am an office holder who keeps his word. I believe I did that as attorney general and will continue to do so if I am fortunate enough to serve in that office again.
As my exploratory campaign moves forward over the next several weeks, I ask that you share your insights with me in person or through other opportunities including email or by phone. If you have an event that we can work into our schedule, please pass that information on to me at the contacts listed below. And if you agree with me about the future direction of our state and my ability to support our governor and legislators as their chief legal officer, I ask that you consider supporting me.
I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your continued work to make our great state of Indiana an even better place to live.
Current Attorney General Greg Zoeller is running for Congress in the 9th Congressional District.