Switching parties, being shouted down at Townhall meetings, and telling a favorite Conservative Congresswoman to "act like a lady" when she disagrees with him are just a few of the signs that lead many to think Arlen Specter won't won't be continuing his nearly 30 year-run in the Senate after this year. Several challengers have come forward, looking to turn Pennsylvania red again, and one of those people is Conservative Peg Luksik.
Luksik says her run is not about unseating Specter, but about giving families a voice in Washington D.C.. A Conservative and pro-life activist, Luksik isn't new to running for office in the Keystone State. In the 90's, she ran for Governor three times: once as the Republican nominee (she received 46% of the vote), and twice as a member of the Constitution party (receiving impressive amounts of the vote both times, as well as beating the Democratic nominee in several counties). Luksik has returned to the Republican party and said she's not afraid of the big names she'll face in the primary, such as former Congressman Pat Toomey, who is seen as the frontrunner in the race, even polling more favorable than Senator Specter.
So who is Peg Luksik? She was born in Alabama, but raised in the Philadelphia area. Her father was in the army and she was the oldest of four sisters. She went on to graduate from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Special Education and Elementary Education. In 1997, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree by Stonehill College in Massachusetts.
Luksik considers herself a very family-oriented candidate and has a strong pro-life background. As a matter of fact, she is the founder of Mom's House. Mom's House is an organization that provides single parents with an alternative to abortion. It helps parents escape the welfare cycle by providing them with support and child care so they can finish their education. According to Luksik, the reason she started the charity is,
"I never intended to start a charitable organization, but I had several miscarriages before my oldest was born and in my prayers for the blessing of a child, I promised that I would do something to help children. Mom’s House is one year younger than my first child."
She is also a founding member and Chairman of the National Parent's Commission. According to her website, the Commission grew out of Luksik's desire to "give parents a voice in education." What started as two people soon became a national, full-scale parents' rights movement that helped "protect families from intrusive activities, and experimental educational programs." Before she knew it, Luksick found herself reviewing grants for the United States Department of Education and was called on as an expert on many components of so-called education reform.
Last year, she managed a Congressional campaign for Iraqi war veteran William Russell who ran against John Murtha. This year, her decision to run for the Senate comes from a desire to restore what she calls "kitchen table" common sense to Washington.
Despite her experience in politics and education, Luksik says the most important thing in her life is her family. She and her husband, Jim, a high school teacher, have six children - five sons and one daughter.
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