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Indiana Republicans nominate 2020 election skeptic for secretary of state

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Indiana Republicans nominate 2020 election skeptic for secretary of state

Delegates to the Republican State Convention Saturday nominated, from left, Diego Morales for secretary of state, Tera Klutz for state auditor and Daniel Elliott for state treasurer.

Indiana will have a new secretary of state overseeing voting for the next presidential election in 2024.

Delegates to the Republican Party State Convention declined Saturday to nominate GOP Secretary of State Holli Sullivan for a full term in her own right after Gov. Eric Holcomb last year selected the former Evansville state representative to succeed the retired Connie Lawson as Indiana’s chief elections officer.

Instead, the Indiana Republican Party selected Diego Morales, of Indianapolis, as its candidate for secretary of state.

Morales, a Guatemalan immigrant and self-proclaimed “America First” Republican, has described as a “scam” the 2020 election results that saw Republican President Donald Trump turned out of office after Trump failed to win either the popular or electoral vote, according to the Associated Press.

If he’s elected, Morales hopes to reduce Indiana’s 28-day early voting period to just 14 days to save money, require Hoosiers to provide proof of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote and create an election task force to investigate “shenanigans.”

“As the next Indiana chief election officer, I will stand firm in support of protecting the right to vote. I will be vigilant in defending the sanctity of each ballot and election integrity,” Morales said.

Morales previously worked in the secretary of state’s office under Republicans Todd Rokita and Charlie White. The latter was removed from office in 2012 after being convicted of voter fraud.

Both of Morales' stints in the secretary of state's office ended shortly after they began when Morales was accused of failing to complete his work and lack of focus, the AP reported.

Rokita, now Indiana attorney general, nevertheless applauded Republican convention delegates for nominating Morales and Morgan County Republican Chairman Daniel Elliott, of Martinsville, for state treasurer.

“This convention proved that Hoosiers are fed up with the establishment, woke corporations, and leftist media who run the Indianapolis swamp,” Rokita said. “Morales and Elliott will be partners of mine to drain it, and save our Hoosier values for generations to come.”

Elliott prevailed in a four-candidate race for the GOP state treasurer nomination. The final round of voting saw Elliott top Elise Nieshalla, a member of the Boone County Council, by just three votes to claim the party's nod.

Schererville-native Pete Seat received the fewest votes in the first round of state treasurer balloting and was eliminated from subsequent consideration.

The convention also nominated State Auditor Tera Klutz, of Fort Wayne, for a second full term.

Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer said he’s excited to campaign with the “dynamic” team of Morales, Elliott and Klutz leading up to the Nov. 8 general election.

“Under Republican leadership, Hoosiers have come to expect great government service from these offices, and with our slate of candidates, this legacy of leadership will undoubtedly continue,” Hupfer said.

The Democratic candidates for each statewide office were nominated without opposition Saturday.

They are Destiny Wells, of Indianapolis, for secretary of state; Monroe County Treasurer Jessica McClellan, of Bloomington, for state treasurer; and ZeNai Brooks, of Indianapolis, for state auditor.

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