Exclusive Q&A With Indiana Secratary of State Diego Morales

Find out about the journey Indiana’s Secretary of State took in overcoming his limitations, and look at what he’s doing to help others do the same
Diego Morales is the 63rd Indiana Secretary of State.
Diego Morales is the 63rd Indiana Secretary of State.
Courtesy of Diego Morales

What struggles did you face when you first came to this country?

I legally immigrated to America with my family. We moved to Sellersburg, Indiana (which I believe is the best small town in America.) I went to Silver Creek High School.  I knew zero English and had zero friends.  I remember carrying around a pocket translation dictionary around the school.  Quickly, I made friends and started learning English.  The Clark County community fully embraced me and my family. We will forever be grateful to the warm welcome and understanding the true meaning of Hoosier Hospitality. I was blessed to recently go back and speak to the students at Silver Creek.  It was an extremely special day and a way to give back to the community who gave so much to me. 

What encouraged you to get into politics, and get involved?

Diego Morales served in the United States Army, as well as the Indiana National Guard. (Courtesy of Diego Morales)

When I served in the United States Army and the Indiana National Guard, I was asked if I was registered to vote.  I had a Green Card in my wallet and was not a U.S. Citizen, so I could not vote.  The same day I became a naturalized citizen, I felt like I won the lottery.  That same day, I registered to vote, and I have not missed an election since. Voting is very personal to me. I hope my story inspires eligible Hoosiers to register to vote and get out to the polls on Election Day. Since I took office, increasing voter participation and voter turnout have been top priorities.  

How did you overcome the struggles you faced when you first came to this country?

After high school, I wanted to go to college. My parents could not afford to pay for my education, so I had to work several jobs to pay my way through college.  I earned a bachelor’s degree at Indiana University, an MBA from Purdue University, and an International MBA from Tilburg University in the Netherlands.  I’ve also studied all over the world including in Germany, Brazil, Mexico, China and Hungary.  There is no substitute for hard work. I am constantly encouraging our younger generation to shoot for the stars, work hard, and if someone tells you that you can’t do something—work 10 times harder to prove people wrong.

 How did you get involved in politics?

During college, I attended a political event because they were giving out free pizza. I was a broke college student working several jobs, so if there was free food, I was there.

I became involved and started learning more and more about government. I ended up being a driver for a politician and that was one of the best jobs. It was literally a front row seat to the government and an opportunity to see all corners of the Hoosier state. 

I was an aide for Vice President Mike Pence during his tenure as Governor of Indiana, which was a valuable opportunity as well. 

I have a deep gratitude and pride for Indiana and America. We live in the best country in the world.  I am constantly reminding our youth that if you were born in America, you are truly blessed. This country and the Hoosier state has given so much to me and serving is my way to give back.   

 Looking at where you are now, do you feel like you have come a long way? If so, please explain.

I know I have come a long way, and I am so proud.  I also know I would not be where I am today without the support of my family, my wife Sidonia and my faith. Getting to where I am now has not been without a lot of hard work and sacrifice. At a young age, my parents instilled in me the value of hard work.  That’s a lesson I continue to carry with me to this day. 

When I was running for Indiana Secretary of State, there were many people who did not want me to get this job. Those doubts fueled me and made me even more focused.

 Do you enjoy the job you have now?

For me, being Secretary of State is not a job, it’s a passion.  I truly believe I was born to be Indiana’s Secretary of State.  Every day I get to the Statehouse very early and to be honest, I rarely take a day off. Within my first 6 months of office, I visited

Diego Morales meets with Cass County Clerk Destry Richey, to ensure she had the tools and resources she needed. (Courtesy of Diego Morales)

all 92 counties, which was a record pace for any statewide elected official. This year, I beat my own record. I visited all 92 counties within 3 months. When crisscrossing the state, I meet with county clerks, sheriffs, prosecutors, schools, businesses, and auto dealers serving as Indiana’s Secretary of State has never been about me, it’s also been about paving the way for the next generation of Hoosiers. 

 Finally, what do you see yourself doing in the foreseeable future?

Being Secretary of State is the honor of my life. I am fully committed to being Indiana’s 63rd Secretary of State and serving Hoosiers. As for what’s next? I have faith that God has a plan in place for me. 


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