Hubbard changes story about whether she brought a gun to Senate debate

  • Upper from left, Casey Chlebek, Mark Curran and Peggy Hubbard and, lower from left, Robert Marshall and Tom Tarter are the Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate in the March 17 primary.

    Upper from left, Casey Chlebek, Mark Curran and Peggy Hubbard and, lower from left, Robert Marshall and Tom Tarter are the Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate in the March 17 primary.

 
 
Updated 3/4/2020 6:30 PM

After spawning controversy when she said she brought a handgun to a debate at a suburban high school last month, Republican Senate hopeful Peggy Hubbard shared a different version of that tale during a televised forum Tuesday.

Appearing on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" with the four other GOP candidates for the Senate seat held by Democrat Dick Durbin, Hubbard told host Phil Ponce she never claimed to have brought the gun into the Feb. 13 forum at Hinsdale Central High School.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I said I had it with me, but I did not have it on me," Hubbard, of Belleville, told Ponce. "There's a difference."

But that's not what Hubbard said at a forum in downstate Washington days after the Hinsdale Central event. In front of that audience, Hubbard said, "I walked in with a concealed carry, and I had a gun and three clips, and nobody checked."

An audio recording of that comment is available online.

Additionally, in a social media post after the Hinsdale Central event, Hubbard said she "walked in with ... my weapon and 2 clips!"

Hubbard subsequently told the Daily Herald she "misspoke" when she claimed she brought the gun into the school.

"I was trying to get a rise out of people," she said before apologizing.

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Hubbard she actually left the weapon in a lockbox in her car, and she told Ponce the same thing Tuesday night.

Hubbard has stood by her initial statement that she brought ammunition into the school.

"I did have two clips on me," Hubbard said last month.

School officials and Hinsdale police investigated, and no charges were filed.

In a statement issued during the investigation, school officials said Hubbard "knowingly endangered the safety of our students and staff" if she brought a firearm into the school as she initially claimed.

After asking Hubbard about the Hinsdale Central forum, Ponce asked all the candidates about gun control laws. One of them, Robert Marshall, took the opportunity to accuse Hubbard of lying about what happened at the forum.

"Mrs. Hubbard has two versions of what happened, and it's all on tape," Marshall said. "So one of her versions is false."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Hubbard, who was seated next to Marshall, didn't respond. None of the other three candidates -- Casey Chlebek of Glenview, Mark Curran of Libertyville and Tom Tarter of Springfield -- commented about the controversy.

When asked Wednesday by the Daily Herald about the discrepancies in her comments, Hubbard said she had nothing else to say about the situation.

The winner of the March 17 primary will face Durbin, a four-term incumbent from Springfield, in November.

In addition to asking Hubbard about the Hinsdale Central forum, Ponce queried the candidates about health care, immigration, Durbin's political record and other topics.

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