Regina Hill knew the moment that she threw her hat in the ring to run for public office, her past will surface. She says her long drug and DUI offenses makes her qualified to represent Orlando's district five.
"We have a large amount of felons in this community and when they see me they see hope," said Orlando City Commission candidate Regina Hill.
The 48-year-old stands strong and confident, despite her criminal history. It dates as far back as 1989, when she was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell.
"My skeletons are out of the closet. I don't have anymore," she stated.
She's had half-a-dozen DUI arrests, but some were dismissed; a number of drug offenses too. The last time she was arrested was in 2009 for contempt of court.
"I don't think it's going to hurt my campaign. I think I'm the person qualified because I came from this community," said Hill. "I lived a life that over 60 percent in this community has lived. I've walked in their shoes."
State records show Hill had her civil rights restored in 2008 by the Florida Parole Commission's Office. That gave her a second chance in life and a chance to run for public office: to represent District Five in the Orlando City Council.
"It's not about a title. I'm going to city hall to be a servant of the people," said Hill.
Hill says she is involved in multiple non-profit organizations that help ex-convicts, the poor, and the homeless. In fact, this ex-felon, Terrell Anderson says she helped him get his life back together.
"I go to college now. I go to Valencia, and I tell other people through her, we can do this and we can do that so she's been a big help," said Anderson.
Despite her past, Hill says she's clean, redeemed, and ready to serve the people.
"You can criticize me all you want, but I'm on a mission and I won't quit. And my mission is not to get to City Hall. My mission is to become better because of my past and to empower others because of it," said Hill.
There are two other candidates running for District Five: incumbent Daisy Lynum and Cynthia Harris. Election Day will be Tuesday, April 8, 2014.