Michael Leppert has an excellent post on the Indiana Secretary of State race. When I graduated college and went to work at the State House in the mid-90s, I barely knew what the office did. But that was back when we had the luxury of taking our election infrastructure more or less for granted. With Trump enthusiasts attempting to tear down that infrastructure by, among other things, baselessly attacking the results of the 2020 election; election oversight by the Secretary of State’s office becomes much more important.
Somehow the issue of military service has become a dominant theme in the discussion of this race. Destiny Wells, the Democratic candidate, has highlighted her and has unquestionably served. Diego Morales, the Republican candidate, has also touted his military background, but the details of his service are … murky. From Leppert’s post:
All three candidates have military service in their backgrounds, with Democrat Destiny Wells a Lt. Colonel in the Army National Guard, having enlisted 19 years ago while a student at Indiana University. She deployed to Afghanistan in 2016-17.
There’s that word again: service. Wanting to be Indiana’s Secretary of State requires a primary desire to serve, really serve, in that role. And to do it without an eye on the next thing, or any number of other things, is what this time in our history requires also.
Morales has sought public office before, losing in the primary running for Indiana’s CD-4 in 2018. As a candidate for secretary of state, he initially rejected the 2020 presidential election results, calling it a “scam,” according to the Associated Press. He has since said President Biden is the legitimate president.
Wells, who announced her candidacy for secretary of state in January, told the Indiana Capital Chronicle that the 2020 election was not stolen and peddling that theory is a threat to democracy.
Ultimately, Leppert observes, Secretary of State is a position where we need a person who seeks to serve. Serve in a way that builds confidence in our voting systems. Wells’ background and public statements make it pretty clear that she’s better situated to do this.