Here at FFL, we love to champion conservative women who are standing up for their beliefs and not afraid to be feminine and fierce while they do it. This year, we have been highlighting the great conservative women running for Congress in every state, and along the way, we have uncovered some amazing up-and-coming conservative stars who will do great things whether they win their election in 2020 or not. One of those women I discovered while researching candidates is Peggy Hubbard, who is running for United States Senate to challenge Dick Durbin. 

Peggy Hubbard is a Navy veteran, a domestic violence survivor, a former police officer, and she’s got so much to offer the Republican party. I talked to her about how she became conservative, her desire to run for office, her backstory, and more. Read on to learn more!

How did you know you were a conservative Republican? Many of our readers are young women who are often accused of simply adopting the beliefs of their parents or peers, but we’ve found that’s not the case and that everyone comes to conservatism for unique reasons.

As a black American, we are often told the only party for someone like us is the Democratic party. Without explanation, we are supposed to be Democrats, and that’s it. My awakening came about in August 2014, when the Ferguson riots took place. I witnessed, like millions of Americans, a President try to make a police officer doing his job a criminal while also trying to turn a criminal into a hero. I watched the police made to be villains, and a community destroyed over a lie. I started questioning the validity of the Democratic Party and what it stood for even further. I have always been pro-life and in favor of our freedoms enshrined in the constitution. Not all of us adopt the political beliefs of our parents.  One thing I’ve learned is that our character is not found at the beginning of our story, but after we are molded by the hard work of the middle. I’m thankful I was molded into a proud Republican, and I am hopeful to have the opportunity to bring my message and to fight for the individuals who feel their voice is being ignored. 

What made you want to run for office? Do you think the life you’ve lived already has prepared you for the challenge in unique ways? How will you use your military and police experience in the Senate?

I’m running for the forgotten communities and the people who feel taxed to death, yet powerless and voiceless. I’m running because our rural towns and inner cities have suffered the most under poor policies and being flat-out forgotten after elections take place. I’m running to advocate for the dignity and protection of all human life, not just for the unborn, but the victims of opioid abuse, those who fall between the cracks of the system, and all other vulnerable folks in our state. I’m running to defend our Second Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights. To me, this isn’t about hunting or a high-minded Constitutional debate. It’s about making sure a single mother living in the projects, surrounded by gang bangers, can defend herself and her family. I’ll be fighting every single day for the regular people who want the opportunity to live, work, and prosper in Illinois. They deserve the same opportunity at being part of the American Dream as previous generations. That means safer schools with more choices for parents and students. It also means infrastructure that isn’t about to collapse. And yes, it means access to real quality private-sector health care that they can afford. I’m running to make a change and prioritize our people again. Being a former cop, you serve and protect your community. As a Navy veteran, you defend those who can’t protect themselves. These two occupations and the way I grew up in a poverty-stricken area, where gang violence is real, has uniquely prepared me for the battle ahead. 

What unique insight do you think veterans and public servants bring to the table when it comes to serving in Congress/Senate? Do you think having served in the Navy changes the way you approach the legislative process? Does it inform your ideas for reform, and in what way?

As a police officer, we see the side of life that a lot of people never see. We sometimes deal with the ugly side of man. We see abused children, opioid overdose, murder, gun violence, human trafficking, DUI, etc. As a veteran, you understand how broken the VA system is when it comes to delivering options and treatments timely to veterans. When it comes to public policy, you are elected to find solutions that work. This means analyzing the situation, working with others, and finding a return on investment for taxpayers that makes things better. Often that solution is found by getting the government out of the way and allowing the private sector to work. 

How do you think you’re inspiring other black women to run for office, and what do you think we can do about institutional and social barriers that have made it so you are the first black Republican woman running for US Senate in Illinois?

I never set out to be a trailblazer; I want black women young and old to be inspired to rise and stand on their own beliefs and convictions. If anything, I want them to see my strength, to find my path, and for them to do the same and make their discovery. I have been subjected to hatred from family and friends on my awakening and leaving the Democratic plantation. Supporters of my opponents have called me a plant and a fake, and that’s their choice. Like Churchill said, ‘you will never reach your destination if you stop to throw rocks at every dog that barks.’ My job is to hold my head high and keep fighting. I want them to know they are welcome to return to the TRUE party that helped free our ancestors, that gave us right to vote, that bled and died for our rights, the party that elected their FIRST black male Senators in 1872. I want them to know that opportunity will not be handed to us by the government, that we must work hard and earn it ourselves. I want them to know I believe in them, and I’m here for them. 

 I’m sure that many young women look up to you, but who do you look up to? Who are your role models?

My momma was an extraordinary woman who raised eight children alone after she finally left my father, who was an abusive alcoholic. At 3 yrs old, I witnessed my father beat and shot my mom in the shoulder in the bathroom of our house. Because my momma, went to his job and got his paycheck so she could buy food and pay our rent. I remember everything about that day. My mom left him, and we moved in with my grandparents. My mom was a nurse; she also worked two other jobs and kept food in our bellies and a roof over our heads. She raised us in the catholic faith, and education was vital. I asked my mom with eight children in the ghetto, why she refused welfare to make ends meet. She, looked at me and said, “baby welfare is a trap. I am not falling for that trap. You will never leave, that’s how THEY keep us under their control” I never forgot that. Even though some days she was so tired from walking home after working 16 hours, she still found the strength to do laundry, help us with homework, attend our sporting events, when I joined the Navy. Mom is gone now; she died of terminal cancer going on four yrs now. I like to think she is watching over me and helping guide me through this fight for the people in Illinois. 

When you became pregnant out of wedlock, many pressured you to have an abortion at Planned Parenthood. What do you think conservatives and Republicans can do to stand up against Planned Parenthood and promote life on a state and national level?

Yes, They did. Some people I served with who I thought were my friends told me abortion was my only option if I wanted to continue serving in the Navy. Being raised Catholic, I knew this was wrong. I wanted to honor my contract. I wasn’t ready to be a mom. I was scared, confused, and abandoned by the man I thought loved me. After I heard my baby’s heart beating and saw her on the ultrasound, I knew this was WRONG! I could not make my daughter pay for my irresponsibility. After I said no, the medical staff still was insistent I just needed to calm down and follow through with the abortion. I fought them off, and I got out of there. I praise the lord I did. My beautiful daughter is married now, served our country in the Navy, is a college graduate, and a mother of two beautiful grandchildren. I am pro-life and believe we should never send tax dollars to organizations that perform or recommend abortions during a healthy pregnancy. The best thing we can do is educate women about options and let them know they are not alone. Through education and support, we can make abortion an unthinkable choice.

You bravely spoke out about leaving and abusive marriage. What do you think we can do as young women to support survivors of domestic violence and help the feel empowered again?

They need to know they will not be judged or shamed, and that help is there. I spent two weeks in a battered women’s shelter, escaping my former spouse. What crossed my mind was: How will I survive on my own? What about my children? Will I lose my kids because I am homeless now? I had to make a decision that was best for me and best for my kids. I had to let them know abuse is not normal, and their mom wasn’t going to let them down. 

RELATED: Meet The 9 GOP Women Running For United States Congress From Illinois

I want these women to know they ARE stronger than they think. We can do better in providing help with mental health, child care, job training, and medical care. I am finding many areas of Illinois are ignored, and women suffer in silence. I will change that and make help available. A lifeline is coming. I want to hear their story, I want them to know they are not alone, there are better days ahead, and there is hope. I want them to know I’m praying for them, and I’m fighting for them. 

What can a conservative women around the country help support you and other females candidates this election cycle?

We need to be bold and vocal. It’s time we stand together and fight for our country. We are GLADIATORS! We have to keep God, country, and family at the forefront of our party. I am ready to serve, protect, and fight for our country and its citizens. If you are not running, you can volunteer, donate, or simply be a voice for whatever cause or candidate you believe in; just make sure you fight a little harder each day.

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member