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Chris Hurst (R), boyfriend of slain journalist Alison Parker. (REUTERS/Chris Keane)

New leaf

Boyfriend of news reporter fatally shot on live TV is now running for office

May 1, 2017

When TV reporter Alison Parker was gunned down in a horrific murder that occurred on live television in August 2015, her boyfriend Chris Hurst plunged into a state of grief. Now, nearly two years after Parker’s death, Hurst has decided to run for political office in Virginia. He is going head-to-head with a popular Republican candidate who has ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA), The Associated Press reports.

At the time of the tragic incident, Parker and Hurst were both anchors at local news station WDBJ7 in Virginia. Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot and killed while reporting live in August 2015. Vester Flanagan, the gunman, later committed suicide.

In the wake of his girlfriend’s murder, Hurst found it cripplingly painful to work at the station where they had shared screen time. So he decided to quit his job as a news anchor and run for a seat in the Virginia state House.

As a political novice, Hurst faces a steep challenge. Hurst is not a native of Virginia (he was born in Pennsylvania), and his opponent, Del. Joseph Yost, is deeply entrenched in the community. Hurst is also running as a Democrat in the heavily-Republican region of southwest Virginia. And while Yost has the backing of the NRA — an undeniable asset in his gun-friendly district — Hurst plans to propose moderate gun reform.

More specifically, Hurst hopes to enable courts to exert more power in taking guns away from “dangerous people” the AP writes. It’s nothing particularly drastic — Hurst is a gun owner himself — but his opponents may seek to frame him as a gun-grabbing outsider.

But in the face of both these obstacles and the personal devastation he has suffered, Hurst has persevered. “When we understand that life is fragile, does that mean we give up and say life ain’t worth it? No,” he said during a local Democratic committee meeting. “That’s when we say it is worth it, and we do what we can when we’re here to try to help another person.”

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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