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STATE WIDE–When a debate was held for candidates for Indiana Secretary of State, the Republican candidate, Diego Morales, opted not to participate, while Democrat Destiny Wells and Libertarian Jeff Maurer did. Morales was not clear on why he was not there, when talking to WIBC’s Tony Katz, Wednesday morning.

Morales at first, did not acknowledge there was a debate.

“First of all, as far as I know, there hasn’t been a debate for Secretary of State,” said Morales.

The debate was held Oct. 10, was presented by the League of Women Voters, and was televised on WFYI-TV. It is still available to view online.

“Republican Diego Morales did not respond to multiple efforts to contact him and his campaign,” said the moderator, Dr. Laura Merrifield Wilson, in the opening of the debate, pointing out that all three candidates were invited.

When Katz pointed out that there indeed had been a debate, Morales responded first by indicating, though unclearly, that his campaign was not about debates, but about visiting all 92 counties in Indiana, speaking with people.

Katz asked if he felt his message wouldn’t be heard, or that the debate was illegitimate, or whether he would not be able to engage, or that the debate wasn’t worth it.

“Absolutely not. I believe I made the right choice to crisscross the 92 counties,” he said. “I’m very happy and I continue to do this and I want to continue to do that until 6 p.m. Tuesday, talking to voters face to face. I’m very very happy with what I’ve been doing because I’m a grass roots person.”

Morales said that as the person who would be in charge of elections, he wants to keep the federal government out of state elections, and strengthen the state’s voter ID law/

“We already have that when you go in person…what I’m talking about is expanding it when it comes to mail-in voting,” he said. Morales, who cites experience in government and as a poll worker as qualifications, was not clear on how that might be implemented.

He also addressed accusations by several women that he sexually harassed them years ago, saying it’s an effort by the opposition to smear him.

“The Democrats and the liberal media, this is their playbook when they have no idea, when they have no vision, they have no story to tell, they smear your name. Unfortunately that’s what they’re doing. They’re trying to smear and slander my good name,” he said.

Morales said he is disappointed in his opponents. He has previously denied harassing the women.