Shimkus staff: McCarter claim on town hall 'an outright lie'

Shimkus staff: McCarter claim on town hall 'an outright lie'

Republican congressional candidate Kyle McCarter said he is inviting his opponent, U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, to what he called "town hall debates" before the March 15 GOP primary election.

But Shimkus' campaign staff said they never received word of the events, the first of which McCarter scheduled for Wednesday night in Danville.

"The voters deserve to see us and hear us together, so they can get look us in the eye, ask their questions, voice their concerns and get straightforward answers — no spin," McCarter said in a press release issued Monday night. "I challenge John to commit to meeting with 15th District voters, in person, to unfiltered and transparent debates."

Shimkus campaign manager Kayleen Carlson said, however, that the Shimkus campaign was never informed of or invited to the proposed debates. She said she was told of them Tuesday morning by a reporter.

"Our campaign was never engaged by the McCarter campaign to schedule these town halls," she said. "Congressman Shimkus is in Washington working on behalf of the families of the 15th Congressional District. For Senator McCarter and his campaign to suggest that we were notified and engaged in scheduling these town halls is misleading and an outright lie. The congressman looks forward to discussing the issues on the agreed upon debate on March 12th.

The only scheduled joint appearance featuring Shimkus and McCarter in the 33-county 15th District is a March 12 in-studio radio debate on Vandalia stations WKRV and WPMB.

McCarter, though, said he will be at the "town hall debates" — with or without Shimkus — at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Danville at American Legion Post 210, 201 Prospect Place, and at 7 p.m. Monday at VFW Post 1769, 2304 S. Veterans Drive in Effingham.

Even if Shimkus is in Washington and attending to congressional business, McCarter said, he could use Skype to participate in the events.

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Tags (1):2016 election