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Boyfriend of Reporter Killed Live on Air Wins Seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates

Former WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst ran for state office on a gun control platform against an NRA-endorsed Republican incumbent

Chris Hurst, a former TV anchor whose girlfriend was shot and killed live on air in 2015, has won the race for the 12th district of Virginia’s House of Delegates.

He and Alison Parker both worked for Roanoke, Virginia, TV station WDBJ when Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot to death during a live television broadcast.

Hurst ran against an NRA-endorsed Republican incumbent, Joseph Yost.

“In 2015, my girlfriend Alison Parker was executed on live TV,” Hurst said in an op-ed for the Daily Beast in February. “Now, I’m leaving my career at the station where she worked to fight for the causes she and I value the most.

“Going into the newsroom each day began to numb me to the humanity on which I was supposed to be reporting,” he wrote. “The only way I could read news of murders, protests, hatred, and loss was to insulate myself from that human emotion. Even as I connected with people in a new, profound way on TV, I was becoming a shell. The man Alison loved began to fray at the edges.”

According to police officials in Virginia at the time, Vester Flanagan, a disgruntled former WDBJ employee who went by the on-air name of Bryce Williams, gunned down Parker and Ward while they were broadcasting live on Aug. 26, 2015. As the tragedy unfolded, viewers heard several shots and saw Parker scream and run. Ward captured an image of the suspect holding a gun as he fell to the ground.

Flanagan shot himself after a five-hour police chase and later died in hospital.

However, despite his victory in the wake of the tragedy, Hurst is not planning to try to push legislation to ban guns, according to the New York Daily News.

“I have no intention of trying to ban or prohibit any type of class of weapon,” he said. “I would never want to legislate someone’s culture or their way of life. But I do think that there is work that we could do through a gun violence protective order to reasonably — for a set amount of time — remove a gun from a dangerous situation.

“Nobody just snaps. There’s always something that is occurring — a pattern,” he added.