Rep. Ed DeLaney: This election is crossing boundaries

Ed DeLaneyThe campaign season is winding down. As it nears its end, I am thinking about two key boundaries: those of geography and those relating to the duty to nominate decent candidates. Hoosier voters have an opportunity to both preserve the boundaries of decency in candidate selection and to expand the areas in which our two parties compete. Let’s hope they respond to these moments of opportunity.

1. The boundaries of geography: a chance for progress

For decades, the city of Indianapolis has been essentially surrounded by a red wall: Only Republicans can be elected to the Indiana House from the “doughnut” counties.

I briefly served a district that was about one-quarter in Hamilton County. I enjoyed the chance to try to balance views and became committed to helping the Carmel schools along with Indianapolis Public Schools. But now suburban districts are nearly confined within the boundaries of counties bordering Indianapolis, and Republicans dominate. The only Indiana House elections that have mattered occurred in May.

This November, the Democrats are running strong campaigns with highly qualified candidates in four or more suburban races. I hope the voters in Hamilton, Boone and Hendricks counties understand the stakes. If entrenched and sometimes extremist Republicans learn they can lose in such areas, there will be a statewide impact. The room for compromise in legislating will be expanded. The idea that only primaries matter for Republicans will be put to rest. We will have a chance to focus on schools, not on critical race theory or other right-wing fetishes. We will have competition in politics.

2. The boundaries of decency: Diego Morales

It is hard to know who should get the prize for the lowest behavior in this year’s campaign. Perhaps it should go to those who attended the Republican State Convention as delegates and to the man they chose to nominate for secretary of state. The delegates rejected the incumbent, a decent soul, and booed the governor who backed her.

The governor was, and is, the leader of the Republican Party but is apparently too moderate for those who attended the convention. Diego Morales, the nominee, is not a real veteran (more like a dropout as a trainee). The governor actually is a veteran. Morales is still in doubt as to who won the 2020 election. There is no doubt that he was twice let go from lower posts at the Secretary of State’s Office, where he hopes to get the top slot. He refused to debate his opponent—something all too common in his party.

Well, at least we can be confident that none of this embarrasses Morales, let alone the delegates who chose him. The Republican Party has gone beyond the bounds of decency in nominating this man. Our voters are asked to support an unqualified person who wants to make voting harder in the name of false fears of illegal voting. How insulting to voters.

The Democratic candidate for secretary of state, Destiny Wells, is a real veteran, a strong campaigner and a voice for moderation. She wants voting to be easy and accurate. Morales wants us to fear that honest citizens will be harassed at the polls while some unknown group stuffs the ballot box in front of Republican poll watchers. The lower the turnout the better, per Morales. An indecent candidacy.

Let’s hope the voters tell the Republican Party that Morales’ candidacy is an insult that will not be accepted. There are some good boundaries after all.•


DeLaney, an Indianapolis attorney, is a Democrat representing the 86th District in the Indiana House of Representatives. Send comments to

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