The Big Lie Guy Running For Secretary of State

When Newsweek runs a story about an Indiana race for Secretary of State, you know something unusual is happening.  Even for Red Indiana, where our lawmakers routinely prostrate themselves before our most retrograde, frightened White Christian Nationalist voters, the outcome of the GOP contest to be the Secretary of State nominee was an embarrassment.

As the linked article reported,

Former Mike Pence aide Diego Morales’ shocking victory in the Indiana secretary of state Republican primary is the latest example of a candidate who backed Donald Trump’s false election claims that potentially could end up overseeing statewide policies for elections.

Morales, who beat incumbent Holli Sullivan following a second round of voting on Saturday, was previously quoted by the Associated Press as calling the 2020 election a “scam.”

Morales has been transparent about his desire to make voting more difficult: he has promised to cut early voting days before each election from 28 days to 14, and–echoing Trump’s xenophobia–to  require new voters to prove their United States citizenship when registering.

As James Briggs wrote in The Indianapolis Star,

The Indiana Republican Party on Saturday nominated a secretary of state candidate so broadly unacceptable that the selection must be setting some kind of record for political ineptitude.

Their choice, Diego Morales, once worked in the secretary of state’s office. That would normally be a good thing. Experience!

Except …

Except that, well, Morales got fired in 2009 over incompetence and a “lack of professionalism,” according to his personnel file. Morales disputes the record, as IndyStar’s Kaitlin Lange wrote, but his file doesn’t leave much ambiguity as to whether he met expectations in his job as a special assistant under Todd Rokita.

That wasn’t the only time: he reportedly rejoined the office in 2011 (why they would rehire someone whose work was previously so unsatisfactory is a mystery, but then, pretty much everything Todd Rokita does is politically motivated, so who knows)  but soon, his supervisors tried to place him on a work improvement plan, citing “poor execution of required daily tasks” and “incomplete event planning and management.”  He evidently  resigned rather than sign the form.

So how did this nomination happen? According to Briggs,

For Republicans, nominating Morales was an unforced error made out of delegates’ spite for Gov. Eric Holcomb. Right-wing Republicans have been furious at Holcomb, a moderate, over his mask mandate and other COVID-19 restrictions, as well as not being forceful enough in pursuing issues important to the conservative base.

Many of those anti-Holcomb Republicans showed up Saturday to the Indiana State Fairgrounds among the 1,667 delegates who voted in the nominating convention to choose candidates for secretary of state, treasurer and auditor through a nominating convention. The delegates rebuked Holcomb by passing over Secretary of State Holli Sullivan, whom Holcomb appointed in 2021, and going with the anti-establishment choice.

According to Briggs, the Associated Press previously reported that Morales also  embellished his resume and exaggerated the details of his business ownership.( He’s evidently what you’d call “a real piece of work.”)

The Democratic candidate for the office is Destiny Wells. I don’t know her personally, but I’ve heard positive things, and I absolutely loved her recent tweet: “When it’s easier to carry a gun than to vote, we have a problem.” Her website is here.

As veteran political observer Brian Howey reported,

Asked what his victory over Sullivan meant, Morales answered, “I will say one word: Praise the Lord.” Morales, who accused Gov. Eric Holcomb of “abusing his power” during the COVID-19 pandemic, added, “The vision today is to keep that American dream alive. We must secure our elections … so we can increase voter confidence.”

Morales vowed to purge voter rolls, limit absentee ballots and allow voting only on Election Day. “No one in Indiana cemeteries will be allowed to vote,” Morales told GOP delegates. The problem with that is there is no evidence of dead Hoosiers voting…..

While Indiana isn’t a swing state and will almost certainly vote for a Republican presidential nominee in 2024, the notion of installing an election denier as the state’s top elections official is a dicey proposition.

No kidding!

It’s bad enough to live in a state governed by people who want to arm the entire population (okay, to be fair, just the White part), make LGBTQ+ folks second-class citizens, control women’s bodies, and make it easier for a pandemic to kill you. The last thing we need is a nutcase “Big Lie” proponent overseeing our elections.

Go to Destiny Wells website and send her some money. Then VOTE FOR HER.


  1. The saving grace is that in Indiana, unlike most other states, the Secretary of State is pretty much in name only when it comes to being the state’s chief election’s officer. Elections are wrong by county officials and the State Election Division, made up of appointees of the Governor, not the SOS. The role of the Indiana SOS when it comes to elections is just to maintain election records.

    A former SOS used to complain that the state calls him the “chief election officer” but the state didn’t actually give him the power over the running of elections.

  2. Corrections: Elections are “RUN by county officials”…not “wrong by county officials.” I need more coffee.

  3. I worked the past 3 election cycles, and find this election denier so laughable.
    He was complaining about something thats not even there.
    Tfg won Indiana 2-1, so where’s the fraud?
    There are so few Democrats on the ballot in Indiana, even if a few of us win, it barely makes a ripple in the news let alone the results.
    While I might not agree with the politics of the woman who was appointed after Connie Larson, at least she had experience in the legislative process and was competent.

    May I submit, if an educator with this guy’s work record would have asked for his job back, the Purple Parents would have stormed their sup’s office with torches and pitch forks.

  4. Morales may be the most inept candidate and his past work history, with firing, is totally unsatisfactory but what we need to know is WHAT DID HE DO TO RECEIVE THIS NOMINATION WHICH DID SATISFY REPUBLICANS. It is simply Political Patronage, a term we do not hear today regarding either party where it does happen. It flourished here under Mayor Richard Lugar’s administration. It is not new in the political world but it does seem more prevalent in the Republican party as witnessed during and continuing today with Donald Trump’s White Nationalist cronies continuing to rule from their minority position. I learned from a person in a highly qualified position and with tight contacts in both parties that Steve Goldsmith was chosen as their Mayoral nominee as payback for favors he provided when he was Prosecutor. I witnessed ineptitude and unqualified appointees who were so clueless they never noticed or recognized when I disregarding their orders and followed laws and regulations to complete my assigned work.

    It isn’t what Morales can’t do but what he DID do to be rewarded with this Republican Secretary of State nomination. Secretary of State in all states has become a more important position to support those at the federal level of government. We must’t undersell Indiana as not being a swing state. It’s bright red history now has another former Republican Vice President; the other one misspelled the word “potato” but the current former VP went against Trump while under the threat of being hung by insurrectionists when it meant the salvation of the 2020 election which ousted Trump and he is playing around with a possible reentry on the political scene.

  5. seems like a new PR for Indianas state house is needed. wow, the lies and sarcasm of the trump era has made Indiana look like anyone could be president..
    even pence

    our former AG, here in NoDak was Heitkanp,(D), she was pro anti-trust, now shes working for
    the very intrests, that has her now,walking in money..

  6. Gregg, Destiny is an improbable Democrat, raised on a farm in Morgan County, joined ROTC in college, became a Lt. Col and military intel specialist in the US Army Reserve as well an attorney. I don’t know if being a member of a social services organization like the Indy Rotary Club is good or bad – at one time it was not only respectable but a requirement for anyone who aspired to elected office. But a Democrat she is, and none of her policy positions belie that fact. She’s getting the attention of a lot of Republicans (I don’t call them moderates just because they’re not fascist cult followers of the former guy. Holcomb is no moderate) who are expected to vote for Destiny to see that Morales loses.

    Paul Ogden is correct in that the IN SOS has very little control over the administration or enforcement of election laws. But it IS a statewide office and as such it comes with a certain amount of bully-pulpit power and it has control over communications with the voting public, especially as it pertains to getting more people registered, how to vote in absentia, etc. Given how the 2020 election outcome deniers have elevated the importance of the office, it is also now serves as a platform for pursuit of a higher state or federal office.

    I have met Destiny at a fundraiser and found her to be thoroughly knowledgeable, thoughtful and genuine – she doesn’t just spew canned sound bites like we hear from most politicians (both sides). I’m completely sold on her quals (she’s actually overqualified based on backgrounds of last several IN SoS’s) and her positions as far as I can tell comport with those of the state and national Democratic Party.

    Vote for Destiny!

  7. Gosh! Another incompetent Republican… Shocking. Arizona is experiencing the same thing for their S of S race. Election deniers are getting WAY too much ink and air time for practicing their sedition, lies and utter stupidity. This all shows how short the Republican bench is for competent candidates, non-corrupt candidates and people who have actually read the Constitution.

    Then, of course, there are the hoards of voters who vote for Republicans no matter what. They are their candidates and their candidates are them. No wonder so many true-believers are becoming ex-patriots and leaving in droves. Portugal, Spain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will soon be populated with them as they take their money and get the hell off this sinking ship.

  8. I wish I could use my facepalm emoji here about a million times… altho he may have no real power, just the fact he is there spouting typical R rhetoric seems dangerous to me. More lies & more whipping up the base which makes for poll workers & election officials who receive death-threats & quit. Yet another mark in the “reasons to leave IN” column, which seems to have fewer & fewer marks in the “reasons to stay”. BTW, my husband is a Dem & long-time Rotarian; they are a good organization but seem to have a majority of Republicans of members in his club. He has had to call them out on not campaigning during meetings. : / I like Destiny Wells; we’ll see how many R’s still vote straight ticket this time. Never say never.

  9. Indiana Sheilaites – here it is crystal clear – a state-wide race where gerrymandering doesn’t matter. Obviously, you want every bored/tired/scared DEM to vote. But, in some ways, more importantly, you want “indypendents”/uncommitteds to understand what is at stake. You want them to feel the heat of “can you tell your kids/grandkids that you voted for someone like this/who believes this”?l Likewise, it is the purrfect time to rouse the non-MAGA GOPers to show their best “Lynn Cheney” selves. In a GOP state, depending only on DEMs is a death march.

  10. Thanks for the insight and the link to her website. Contribution made.
    Nic out

  11. I followed Patrick Traub’s link to see all the fuss, and it appears that these folks are scared of George Soros. He’s a globalist and has an agenda. We need patriots with guns and American flags to offset these globalists trying to take over our country. The more red, white, and blue people wear, the more we should trust them. I believe that’s in our state constitution, but not sure exactly where.

    Also, they want people who live “outside of Indiana” to be able to fund Indiana campaigns, except for George Soros. In other words, Charles Koch is okay even though he owns energy-producing factories in Russia.

    From their website:

    “In order to win, we have to play their game better. If we want fair and honest federal elections, we must start with electing the right people at the State level. This means that donors need to back State races, even If they are in a different state. This will result in electing America First State leaders with a meaningful and effective plan to achieve election integrity. Our first priority will be to elect SOS in key battleground states.”

    (Sorry for the sarcasm, but the ignorance of these people pulls it right of me!)

  12. Incompetence and proud announcements that they intend to abuse the power of their offices to defy the will of the majority are de facto required qualifications for Republican secretary of state candidates.

    Extra nuttiness is just an added bonus. Up here in your neighboring swing state Michigan, the Republican SOS candidate, Kristin Karamo, is a Qanon-following religious-right loon who believes, among other interesting things, that liberals are using abortion to “sacrifice” babies to Satan, that Netflix is part of some vast George Soros-Barack Obama conspiracy to promote abortion, and that demonic possession is spread by sexual intercourse. No one seems interested in asking any of the interesting questions about how exactly this works. Do condoms work to block demonic possession? Are fetuses thus conceived are also demonically possessed? If so, is it okay to abort demonically-possessed fetuses?

  13. Indiana republicans are hell-bent on winning the race to the bottom of civilized society in this country. They prove over and over that when given the choice to vote for one of satan’s top assistants whose only goal is personal power and wealth, they will always choose that candidate over a reasonable person whose goal is to actually fulfill the functions of the office they are running for.

    More recently, when republicans have a choice between either bad or worse than bad candidates for office they always choose the latter.

  14. Beth, re your comment – do you find it frustrating that the reasonable/moderate republicans are choosing to remain silent about the craziness within their party?

  15. JoAnn, you asked how Morales was nominated for this office. You don’t actually get nominated, but rather choose to enter the race and then campaign to get the votes for nomination at the party convention. Rokita actually chose to publicly support Morales even though he had previously fired him for incompetence. All Morales had to do was support 45’s election lies.

  16. Of course, if this clown looses in Indiana, I’m sure that my Florididia Gov’r could find a happy place for him in our GDP.

    No, not a typo…GDP stands for Grand Dumb Party.

  17. This is the natural result of religion being the primary control mechanism to civilize stupid people.

    The Rs we call “reasonable” are literally the ones capable of reason, in other words the ones with money who tolerate the idiots because the Jeebus votes keep the oligarchy humming. They aren’t really reasonable — they are just greedy.

    The problem, of course, is that when you train the plebes from birth to believe in a cult, you make them susceptible to all cults, so along comes a cult of personality and the rubes melt in adoration.

    In an agricultural flyover state like Indiana, there will always be more dumb ones willing to stay and more smart ones itching to leave, so it’s all natural self selection. What makes Indiana livable (along with the other plantation states) is a national government of non-rubes, and when the GOP finally ends that little bit of decency permanently, a “shithole country” we will be.

  18. The GOP has controlled not only the Secretary of State’s office but the
    * Governor and Attorney General’s offices,
    * the State Election Board,
    * BOTH Houses of the State Legislature by super-majorities, AND
    * the majority of local County Clerk’s offices and county election boards

    for over a decade. Is Morales accusing his GOP allies of complicity in fraudulent elections all these years?

  19. Like Patrick, I am a huge fan of Destiny, having met her in French Lick and realized that this was going to be one formidable candidate when she decided to run (which was obviously going to happen). Her convention presence didn’t disappoint either, topped only by Dana Black (who is a superstar orator).

    I am not that fond of predictions, and tend to be very conservative about them. I will just say this. Destiny actually has a good chance of winning. So, if Democrats feel pushed aside here, Destiny may be one who can shake things up a bit. She can use our support.

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