Diego Morales projected to win Indiana secretary of state race

Elections 2022
Diego Morales

Republican candidate for Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales poses for a photo in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(NewsNation) — NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ has called the race for Indiana secretary of state in favor of Diego Morales.

Republican Diego Morales, a former aide to former Vice President Mike Pence, was locked in a race with Democrat Destiny Wells for the seat that would oversee elections, voter registration and certifying election results in the state.

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Throughout his campaign, Morales fashioned himself as the embodiment of the American Dream. He came to the United States from Guatemala as a teenager and later graduated from Indiana University before completing an MBA at Purdue University.

As with many secretary of state races across the country, election integrity was a central issue between Morales and Wells.

Morales vowed to protect the right to vote while also defending election integrity. On the campaign trail, he highlighted his time as an Army infantryman, but that record faced scrutiny after official documents revealed Morales served less than four months of active service.

On the other side of the aisle, Wells — a lawyer and Army Reserve lieutenant colonel — prioritized improving the state’s low voter turnout throughout her campaign. In interviews, she branded herself as a “pro-Democracy candidate” set on upholding political norms.

During her campaign, Wells said Morales was “sowing seeds of fear and doubt” about elections and that the secretary of state should focus on improving Indiana’s troubles with low voter turnout. Meanwhile, Morales largely focused his campaign on appearances at county Republican events and local festivals, brushing off criticism. 

A poll from October predicted an upset, with Wells maintaining a slight lead over Morales.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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