Chris Hurst, Whose Girlfriend Died During a Live TV Shooting, Wins Virginia Delegate Seat
The boyfriend of a news reporter who was shot and killed on live TV in 2015 won a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates Tuesday.
Chris Hurst, a first-time politician and former news anchor, received 54.33 percent of the votes as of 11:52 p.m. Tuesday night, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. The 30-year-old Democrat unseated Republican and three-time incumbent Joseph Yost in the race for the 12th District House of Delegates seat.
In a February op-ed for The Daily Beast, Hurst announced he was leaving his job as a broadcast journalist to run for office.
“In 2015, my girlfriend Alison Parker was executed on live TV,” Hurst said in the op-ed. “Now, I’m leaving my career at the station where she worked to fight for the causes she and I value the most.”
Part of Hurst’s platform was reducing gun violence.
“We must change the way we address the thousands of Virginians who die each year by bullets from guns,” said a statement on his website. “I think we do that by realizing this is a public health crisis because more people in the commonwealth die from gun violence than in car crashes. My focus remains on those most susceptible to homicide and suicide from firearms. I will work to protect men and women of color in cities from dying on the streets, to help women find safety after taking the courageous move to leave a dangerous relationship and to encourage parents to make sure children don’t have unsupervised access to a gun. As someone who has been personally touched by this issue, I will take the same objective, pragmatic approach to investigating solutions as I had when I worked as a journalist.”
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Parker and Hurst were madly in love, he previously told PEOPLE, and had moved in together just weeks before the shooting.
“We knew almost from the moment we started to date we would love each other forever,” the former WDBJ evening anchor told PEOPLE. “We’d say, ‘This is too good to be true.'”
Shortly after the tragedy, Hurst vowed to honor her memory by covering issues of gun violence and mental illness.
“I pledged to her father,” Hurst told PEOPLE. “Her father wants me to help him do whatever it takes to make sure not one more family has to go through this kind of unspeakable violence.”
“If that means talking about gun reform to reduce gun violence, or if that means talking about increasing access to mental health care and trying to figure out [how] those who have an illness get the care they need,” he said, “we will do whatever it takes.”