Recent polls have shown the Republican Party faces a worrying environment in 2018. Amid election results the past few months in Virginia and Alabama on one hand amid growing anti-Trump anger by Democrats, and the passage of a strong tax reform bill and a favorable districting configuration on the other, House Republicans will be competing in a fierce and tumultuous cycle.
However in the midst of that uncertain playing field, there are bright spots in the map across the country.
I recently had the chance to chat with a particularly fascinating candidate for Congress, Diego Morales, a former adviser to then-Gov. Mike Pence who is running for Congress in Indiana’s fourth Congressional district, deep in America’s heartland.
Morales has a very interesting background among the many Republicans running across the country. He is a legal immigrant from Guatemala who grew up in Indiana and speaks five languages. He is a United States Army veteran, having served as an infantryman, who holds an MBA from Purdue University.
Beyond a career as a business executive, from 2013 to 2017 he served as Senior Advisor and Special Assistant to then-Governor Mike Pence, bringing in economic development and international investment to Indiana.
Clearly Morales is a strong firsthand embodiment of the American dream. It is a remarkably American story to come to this country as an immigrant and rise to such heights in business, politics, and government.
He describes himself as a “grateful immigrant” and a “grateful American Hoosier.” Having foregone going with Vice-President Mike Pence to DC as an advisor when elected, Morales instead chose to stay in Indiana and is now running for Congress.
However Morales, a supporter of President Trump and, of course, his former boss Vice-President Pence, is no stranger to DC politics either. He was at the White House several months ago and was endorsed earlier this year in his Congressional run by Rex Early, the Trump’s campaign Indiana Chair.
He is now running on a multi-front platform focusing on national security, including border security and the opioid epidemic, the economy, and helping our veterans. He spoke of his desire to support tax reform efforts, fix our immigration system, and ensureveterans with PTSD are given the help they need.
Morales’ campaign is particularly worthwhile for multiple reasons. Firstly, it shows that across the country a new cohort of impressive Republicans are coming forward to continue to push forward conservative and common sense governance in D.C. The Republican Party clearly still has an extremely deep and rapidly growing talent pool that will keep the party strong for years to come.
Secondly, it also shows that the GOP’s efforts to reach out and adapt to our rapidly diversifying nation retain great hope as well. Morales, a very internationally-traveled and multilingual legal immigrant, speaks of his desire to protect our borders, ensure the rule of law, and reform our broken immigration system to bring in immigrants who want to put America first.
One wishes that a hundred Morales’ would be running for Congress across the country. As the GOP faces worrying support trends among Hispanic-Americans, coming in at only 28 percent in 2016 compared to almost 44 percent in the 2000s, we need more fresh and vigorous candidates who can spread common-sense conservative ideas to American communities of all backgrounds.
The GOP itself continues to face significant internal division on issues such as the many complex and multifaceted issues concerning both legal and illegal immigration. While politics in DC has kicked the can down the road on many illegal immigration issues for the past few decades, in recent years the problems from these policy questions have been boiling over the top and will need resolution soon.
Undoubtedly, soon the GOP will need to more cohesively decide and adapt its stance, or face a washout if current support trends continue without change. Candidates like Morales give hope that the GOP can remain true to our conservative values and common-sense governance while also embracing Americans of all backgrounds.
Given his impressive background in GOP politics and running in a R+17 district, where current Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN) is vacating to run against Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN), it looks like he will likely soon join House Republicans in DC come January 2019. Hopefully as the years move forward, for the GOP’s sake and the country’s sake, many similar inspiring candidates like him do too.
Erich Reimer is an entrepreneur and conservative commentator. He can be followed on Twitter at @ErichReimer.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.