Democrat Chris Hurst, right, defeated Republican incumbent Joseph Yost to win House District 12 on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Blacksburg, Va. Hurst celebrates with a packed room of supporters at The Hyatt Place in Blacksburg. (Heather Rousseau/The Roanoke Times via AP)
Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
A former Virginia news anchor whose girlfriend was shot and killed during a live TV broadcast in 2015 defeated the Republican incumbent on Tuesday to become the newest member of the state’s House of Delegates.
“We’ve waited so long and worked so hard to make sure that the New River Valley finally has a voice in Richmond that will be loud, that will be strong, that will be fearless and a voice that will represent the entire district, and not just those that voted for a delegate, but for everybody who lives here,” Hurst told a crowd gathered to celebrate his win Tuesday night, according to the newspaper.
Hurst was living with fellow journalist Alison Parker when she and cameraman Adam Ward were killed by a former co-worker while reporting for WDBJ.
Alison Parker’s parents were among the celebrants Tuesday night at the Hyatt Place in Blacksburg, WDBJ reported.
“I know that Alison is smiling and she's with us and enjoying every minute of this," Alison Parker's father, Andy Parker, told the news station. "I will never see my dreams for her come true, but I think I will for Chris."
After the shooting, Hurst became the public face of the grieving Roanoke station, bringing national attention and a large social media following. Hurst left WDBJ after the shooting and moved to Blacksburg in February to run in the 12th District, the Times reported.
"I think (Alison Parker) would have been proud of me,” Hurst told WDBJ. “I think knowing Alison and how determined and driven she was, she probably would have wanted me to perform even better (than) we did."
Hurst’s campaign was backed by gun-control groups, but that wasn’t his main campaign issue. Instead, he focused on education, health care and the environment.