The La Salle County Tea Party hosted US Republican Senate candidate Peggy Hubbard Tuesday night at Pitstick Pavilion in Ottawa to a crowd of about 70 people.
Hubbard is a Navy veteran, former St. Louis County court officer and IRS employee from St. Louis, well known for an August 2015 impassioned speech on video condemning the Black Lives Matter response to the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
She is now living in Belleview and challenging incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin, who has been in office since 1997 and currently serves as the Senate Minority Whip.
Hubbard spoke for about two hours, saying she was a lifelong Democrat before President Donald J. Trump announced his candidacy in the primary.
“I walked away in 2016,” Hubbard said. “I stopped being a Democrat because I wanted to be an American.”
Hubbard said she is a supporter of the Second Amendment and the rights of gun owners should not be infringed upon; "something is coming," she said, mentioning the gun control protests in Richmond, Va., last week.
Hubbard pointed out that she was carrying as she spoke. “I belong to the NRA.”
Hubbard said gun control could lead to another Civil War and that Planned Parenthood has killed millions while the NRA hasn't killed anyone. She intends to push to get rid of FOID registration for Illinois residents.
She referred to herself as pro-legal immigration, but anti-illegal immigration as well as pro-life.
“I want to know what your intentions in my country are,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard said she wants immigrants who are coming in with skills and the ability to make their communities better.
“I don’t see black or white, I just see Americans,” Hubbard said. “The President is trying hard to be fair but I want to see merit-based immigration.”
She referred to her Republican competition in the March primary as lambs for slaughter and she said that the party needs to unite, rather than eat their own.
Hubbard was accompanied by Turning Point USA founder Bill Montgomery, who endorsed her, saying, “If you don’t get behind her, you don’t belong here.”
Hubbard said since she switched parties she’s been heavily entrenched in Republican ideology.
“I’m rough around the edges but rough around the edges is sitting in the White House,” Hubbard said. “We need someone that tells it like it is.”
Hubbard said she doesn’t have a degree like the other candidates but she brings life experience to the table. She’s been married to a career policeman for the last 28 years and they have six children and 18 grandchildren.
She said she doesn’t need a degree because there are “a lot of educated fools in Washington.”
Hubbard is one of five Republicans currently on the March 17 ballot; the other candidates include: Casey Chlebek, Mark Curran, Robert Marshall and Tom Tarter.