After A Co-Worker Shot His Girlfriend On Live TV, Chris Hurst Ran For Office. And Won.

The former news anchor found newfound purpose in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Chris Hurst has gone from a symbol of tragedy to a symbol of hope.

Hurst, a 30-year-old former television anchor, became the center of a national news story when his girlfriend Alison Parker was killed on live television in 2015. Parker, a journalist, was shot alongside her cameraman by a disgruntled colleague. Thousands of Virginia residents witnessed the shooting on live television.


After the tragic shooting, Hurst — who worked at the same Roanoke station that employed all three people involved in the shooting — became a household name with a growing social media following. So he decided to run for office and work towards resolving the issues he'd covered as a journalist.

Despite rising to political relevance because of a shooting, Hurst avoided making his campaign exclusively about gun control. Instead, he focused on the expansion of Medicaid and making more education funding available across the state. 

"We can seize on this opportunity to expand Medicaid in the Commonwealth so that everybody who is working but living in poverty can have access to health insurance," he said at a rally in Blacksburg, Virginia. "We can go big on education to make sure our teachers are supported in the Commonwealth."

Hurst defeated Rep. Joseph Yost by 8 points, according to USA Today, a comfortable and surprising margin. Yost was a three-time incumbent who had little in the way of a challenger before Hurst came along. He also had an A-rating from the National Rifle Association.

While the campaign focused mostly on Medicaid and education, Hurst did frequently address gun violence. One of Hurst's biggest hot spots for support was Virginia Tech, where college students turned out in force for him. Virginia Tech's campus, of course, was the site of a mass shooting in 2007.

"Every single idea that could possibly address and reduce the number of people dying from gun homicide, suicide and accidental fire deaths, I think, is finally on the table," Hurst said on CNN Wednesday morning.


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