TV anchor whose girlfriend was shot dead live on air to run for office on gun control ticket

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Monday 13 February 2017 16:33 GMT
Ms Parker was shot and killed while on air
Ms Parker was shot and killed while on air

A television journalist whose girlfriend was shot dead on air, is making a run for political office - with greater gun control to be a major part of his campaign.

Chris Hurst quit WDBJ last week, with a plan to run for the Virginia state parliament.

Mr Hurst was dating Alison Parker when she was shot and killed while carrying out an interview with a member of the public in August 2015. Cameraman Adam Ward was also killed, while the gunman, Vester Lee Flanagan, a former employee of the station, shot himself after a police chase.

Mr Hurst said he planed to run for the so-called House of Delegates against incumbent Joseph Yost, a Republican.

Mr Hurst told the Roanoke Times he had moved from Roanoke to Blacksburg, where he will file paperwork to seek the Democratic nomination in the 12th House District. He also said that he was leaving Roanoke because he needs “a change of scenery”, after the shooting, which stunned the community.

Reporter Alison Parker interviewing Vicki Gardner moments before the attack

“I’ll be able to develop some different routines that [are] not a constant reminder of some of the emotional pain that I have been having to face,” he said.

Mr Hurst said that while reducing gun violence will be a prominent part of his campaign, “anybody who sees me as a single-issue candidate because my girlfriend was killed with a gun needs to look at my body of work over the past seven years here and see how many different topics I’ve covered and have been curious and interested in”.

Mr Yost, a three-term Republican, welcomed Mr Hurst to the race.

“This will certainly be one of the biggest House races this year, and maybe even bigger than the governor’s race,” he said.

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