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WDBJ-TV7 anchor Chris Hurst, right, hugs meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner during the early morning newscast at WDBJ-TV7, in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Hurst was the fiance of Alison Parker, who was killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Alison Parker's on-air killing drove former anchorman Chris Hurst into politics


Former news anchor Chirs Hurst, whose girlfriend was shot during a live broadcast in 2015, announced that he plans to run for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. 

Hurst resigned as an anchor at WDBJ-7 in February of 2017, nearly 18 months after his late girlfriend, Alison Parker, and her cameraman, Adam Ward, were killed while conducting an interview.

Hurst will be challenging Republican Del. Joseph Yost, who was backed by the National Rifle Association in 2015.

Murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward
Alison Parker and Adam Ward

Hurst said he sees this as a way to honor the memory of the woman he thought he'd marry. 

"When we understand that life is fragile, does that mean we give up and say life ain't worth it? No," Hurst said at a local Democratic committee meeting in March. "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."

Hurst said running for office has helped lessen his grief by giving him purpose. 

"It has given him determination," said Alison's father, Andy Parker. "We both had to seek a way to make sense out of all of this."

Hurst, who is a gun owner himself, said he treads lightly on the issue of gun control in his community. 

While Hurst says he'd like for law enforcement to be able to petition courts to have guns taken away from dangerous people, he is more focused on issues like education and economic development. 

Andy Parker, however, said he fears Republicans will try to link his gun-control advocacy to Hurst.

"We're joined at the hip because of her and our love for her," Parker said. "He's not going to run away from it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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