A former TV anchorman is running for office after the woman to whom he was engaged was gunned down during a live news broadcast.
On Thursday, The Washington Post profiled 30-year-old Chris Hurst, a candidate for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates running against incumbent Republican Joseph R. Yost.
Hurst is running in a staunchly Republican Roanoke district, Virginia’s 12th, but Democrats believe that the district has the potential to flip due to the backlash against President Donald Trump’s chaotic and ineffective administration.
Two years ago, Hurst’s girlfriend — TV reporter Alison Parker — was shot and killed during a live report by a disgruntled and emotionally disturbed former colleague. In the wake of the tragedy, Hurst decided to quit TV and run for office.
“His surprise decision this year to quit TV and run for office electrified the local race,” wrote the Post‘s Gregory S. Schneider. “He has raised the second-highest amount of all Democratic challengers in the 100 Virginia House races — $232,000 as of the June reporting period. Republicans are funneling cash to Yost to keep up, raising $210,000. Their district is as polarized as any in the state — one side of Brush Mountain voted for Donald Trump last fall and the other for Hillary Clinton.”
Schneider said that both candidates are tacking to the center and actually share similar positions.
“Both are opposed to the huge natural gas pipeline proposed for the county. Both want to protect manufacturing jobs, support public schools and create better mental-health services,” he wrote.
Neither man is a fan of President Donald Trump.
Hurst and Parker were engaged to be married in 2015 when she was shot and killed alongside camera operator Adam Ward by a former coworker who killed himself while fleeing arrest. The couple had been together for nine months.
“She was the most radiant woman I ever met,” Hurst wrote. “And for some reason she loved me back.”
She was 24.
Some people recognize Hurst and relive their feelings in the wake of the attack, said the Post, even bursting into tears.
“I’m a trigger for some people,” he said while canvassing from house to house.
At one residence, a pair of retired nurses told Hurst they miss seeing him on TV.
“Well, I know I’m sweatier and not as made-up in person,” Hurst said. “Just here more to listen than anything else. That’s what I used to do at the TV station as a reporter, and that’s what I hope to do as a delegate, too — listen to what’s on your mind.”
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