Former Pence dismisses allegations in Indiana post-election candidacy

Indianapolis – Mike Pence’s former aide evades previous support for tighter voting limits And I have my suspicions about the 2020 presidential election because I’m trying to avoid disrupting the campaign to win an election that doesn’t get much attention usually by Republicans who want to be Indiana’s premier election office. increase.

Since Diego Morales Defeated Indiana’s current Secretary of State While Democrats criticized Morales as one of many in the June GOP nomination, he was given little explanation for quitting early voting and mail-in voting. Republican “Election Denier” Trying to get government agencies across the country

The Indiana Democrats, who last won a statewide election a decade ago, see a chance of defeating Morales in the Nov. 8 election.they he Twice resigned as junior secretary from a state government position After being questioned about his poor performance at work and whether he was over-emphasizing his military service.

Morales has mostly fended off criticism by focusing his campaign on appearances at county Republican events and local festivals. He didn’t, and skipped a debate with them last week that aired on Indiana’s public television station.

Mr. Wells said Mr. Morales was “sowing seeds of fear and doubt” about the election and said the secretary of state should focus on improving the problems of low voter turnout in Indiana.

“I think Diego is very dishonest in that the Secretary of State needs to take Indiana out of election reform,” Wells said. “It doesn’t have to be hard to vote to make it safer. He just wants to make it harder by reducing the chances of voting.”

Before Morales defeated current Secretary of State Holly Sullivan at the Republican National Convention in June, he wrote an online column and pitched the 2020 election. “scam” While pointing to unsubstantiated allegations made by former President Donald Trump and his allies about other states. It called for voter restrictions, including eliminating several grounds that could be requested, requiring new voters to prove U.S. citizenship upon registration, and creating an “election task force.” Investigate “Shenanigans”.

His single-page campaign website contains no mention of such plans, nor do they appear in his frequent social media posts greeting voters.

When asked to describe his shift in an interview, Morales didn’t give a direct answer.

Morales told the Associated Press, “As I travel through the 92 counties, I listen to and meet with all the Hoosiers, including the county clerk. Early voting works and will continue to do so. I believe it is,” he said.

Indiana’s Secretary of State oversees statewide policy regarding elections run by elected county officials under laws enacted by a Republican-dominated legislature. Winning the presidential nomination for the Republican Party is the same as winning an election, as the Republicans have won her double-digit percentage in the last seven ballots.

Morales, 43, immigrated from Guatemala with his parents and sister, graduated from high school in the town of Sellersburg in southern Indiana, attended college at Indiana University Southeast, and joined the military before becoming a U.S. citizen. Much depends on his life story.

After briefly serving as secretary of state in 2009 and 2011, Morales Writing about slow performance AP first reported when it failed to win a seat in the Indiana legislature in 2018. He returned to state government as an aide to Pence’s governor’s staff for four years until Pence stepped down to become Trump’s vice president in 2017.

His campaign social media pages feature a photo of Morales in a camouflage uniform and a video highlighting his service as an Army infantryman.

However, he underwent about three and a half months of Army infantry training in 2007 before being transferred to the Indiana National Guard, according to military records released by Operation Morales. Records show that Morales left the National Guard in his 2013 without ever being promoted beyond his first rank as a professional or receiving additional military education.

Morales said he was proud of his military service, but declined to elaborate.

“My reason for joining is simply to give back,” he said. “I think I signed a blank check to be ready for this great country if needed.”

Morales also declined to say why the National Guard did not seek promotion when it was deployed to Iraq in 2008, nor why it did not start operations.

“Feel free to call the National Guard, the U.S. Army, or the Pentagon and I’m sure they’ll explain all that,” Morales said. “They are experts, so you can call them and they will give you all the details about this. increase.”

But a spokesman for the Indiana National Guard responded that the only information permitted to be released under military regulations is records regarding “duty status, discharge characteristics, terms of service, awards, education, and areas of expertise.” .

Wells, a 38-year-old attorney and Democratic candidate, has released his army service record since 2004. This includes his current promotion to Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, his time as an intelligence officer, and active duty deployment to Afghanistan in 2017. .

Wells brings the discussion of military service back to what she calls the erosion of women’s rights. Statewide abortion ban It was approved by a Republican-dominated Congress. Wells said the move stems from Republicans now in full control of state governments and that more bipartisan balance is needed.

“I have gone to the ends of the earth to defend the concept of democracy abroad, defend women in third world countries, and ensure rights like ours,” Wells said. “But now I’m home and I see my rights being taken away.”

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Former Pence dismisses allegations in Indiana post-election candidacy

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