ANDERSON – Although the Indiana Democratic Party will not select an attorney general candidate until next spring, Karen Tallian has started her campaign.
Tallian has served in the Indiana Senate for 14 years representing the Portage area.
“I announced early because it takes a long time to put together a campaign,” she said during a telephone interview with The Herald Bulletin.
“I announced at the party convention in French Lick because it was a good chance to talk to Democrats from around the state,” Tallian said before an appearance in Madison County. “I’m the only candidate to announce right now and there are probably one or two other people thinking about it.”
With the legal problems surrounding Republican Attorney General Curtis Hill she said it will take months before those are resolved.
“Right now I’m running against Curtis Hill,” she said. “No one knows what will happen. I don’t know if Hill will be the Republican Party candidate next year.”
Tallian has supported the decriminalization of marijuana in Indiana.
“I’ve heard from some prosecutors around the state,” she said following the announcement that in Marion County criminal charges would not be filed for possession of marijuana. “It’s the prosecutor’s job to uphold the law.”
Tallian said numerous other states including Michigan and Illinois have legalized the possession of marijuana.
“We’re spending too much time and energy on possession of marijuana,” she said. “Counties are using it as a way to collect pretrial diversion funds. Most counties don’t prosecute.”
Tallian said it’s time for the Indiana General Assembly to “step up to the plate” and change the law.
If elected, Tallian said her first action would be to remove Indiana from the list of states that have filed a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act.
“The action by the attorney general has upset potential health care for 200,000 Hoosiers,” she said.
Tallian would also like to create a payroll fraud division, which has been discussed for eight years.
“The attorney general can be a balance in the Statehouse,” she said of the office.
Tallian admits it’s tough for a Democrat to win a statewide office but noted that Joe Hogsett served as attorney general and Glenda Ritz was superintendent of public instruction.
“I don’t think the state is quite as red (Republican) as people think,” she said.”