As he seeks to move on to Congress ... State Senator Kyle McCarter says his opponent has ducked debates and forums that could help voters make their minds ahead of next week's primary.
McCarter is challenging longtime Congressman John Shimkus of Collinsville for the GOP nomination.
McCarter says he invited Shimkus to participate in a couple of town hall meetings, and Shimkus never showed.
"He doesn't want the public to be aware of anything he's doing and he's got a lot to hide over 20 years. And he's got very little to talk about as to what he's done for 20 years."
But the Shimkus campaign says it never received a direct invitation to the town halls.
No Democrat has filed to run in the sprawling 15th district ... which covers much of southeastern Illinois.
Shimkus has Governor Bruce Rauner's endorsement and is perceived as the front-runner.