Republican U.S. Senate candidate Peggy Hubbard is calling media reports on her claim she brought a gun and ammunition into a suburban Chicago high school “fake news,” despite those comments being recorded during a public event.
As WCBU previously reported, Hubbard claimed at a Washington candidate’s forum on Tuesday she brought a gun and three ammo clips into Hinsdale Central High School, where she was invited to attend a student-organized candidate’s event on Feb. 13. Hubbard said Tuesday she walked past a “no-guns” sticker and showed her concealed carry card to a school employee, but otherwise wasn’t checked before she was admitted.
On Thursday, Hubbard told the Daily Herald she misspoke in Washington, and actually left her firearm in a lockbox within her vehicle, though she did say she carried two ammo clips in a purse.
But at a candidate forum hosted by the Bremen Township Republican Organization in Cook County later on Thursday, Hubbard appeared to rip up a printed copy of that same Daily Herald article, and condemned it as “fake news.”
After an event organizer interrupts an exchange with an audience member who backs up the accounts of her Washington comments published in both the Daily Herald and Belleville News-Democrat, Hubbard then reiterates her claim she misspoke.
“So I get inside the school, they have a sticker on the door. A sticker with a gun that says ‘no guns allowed.’ Now mind you I’m already mindful and left it in the car. And the other day at the forum, I misspoke, and I own up to that,” she said. “I own up to that. I misspoke. Yes, I had it, but it wasn’t not on my person. It was on the property, it was locked up in my car. I know better. I know better.”
She then goes on to cite several examples of potential security breaches she said she witnessed at the Hinsdale event, such as a friend who came in through a side entrance.
Hinsdale District 86 spokesman Chris Jasculca previously told WCBU that district officials have reported Hubbard’s comments to police. He said they were unable to find proof she showed a photo ID to any employee despite a security camera footage review and staff interviews.
Jasculca said Thursday that school policy does not allow adults to bring firearms anywhere on the school grounds, including locked up in a vehicle in the parking lot.
Hubbard is one of five Republican candidates running in the March primary. The winner will face incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen Dick Durbin in November.
Tim Shelley is the News Director for WCBU Public Radio in Peoria.