Republican Diego Morales made history Tuesday – he is the first Hispanic statewide elected official in Indiana history, winning the race for secretary of state.
The first-time office holder beat Democrat Destiny Wells and Libertarian Jeff Maurer.
Morales’s campaign had been dogged by controversy. He pushed the big lie about the 2020 election’s legitimacy and proposed more restrictions on early voting – both positions he then reversed during the race. There were questions about his military record. He’d been fired from the office he now leads at least once. And there were allegations of sexual misconduct and potential voter fraud.
But Morales was defiant in victory as he cruised to a comfortable win.
“The truth always prevail," Morales said. "Let me say that again – the truth always prevail, always.”
He also emphasized the historic importance of his win.
"This is America," Morales said. "This is why this country's so exceptional. You can be anything."
Democrat Destiny Wells’s concession speech was a call to continue to fight against efforts to “tear down our democracy.”
“Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, independents – all of us – we must fight together to strengthen and reinforce our electoral system,” Wells said. "Now it is upon you, Hoosiers, who will be charged with securing our elections, because our next secretary of state is going to need all of our help in a very big way."
Democrats haven’t won the secretary of state’s office since 1990.
This story has been updated.