Boyfriend of Virginia reporter killed on live TV quits job to run for state office

Two years ago, reporter Alison Parker and photojournalist Adam Ward were killed, gunned down during a live broadcast near Roanoke Virginia.

ROANOKE, Va. - Alison Parker and Adam Ward were two young journalists murdered on live TV in Roanoke, Va. two years ago.  

Now, Alison's boyfriend has quit his job as a TV anchorman to run for office as a state lawmaker.   

Instead of covering campaigns, Chris Hurst is now a candidate.  Two years ago, Hurst had planned to marry Alison Parker. The two TV journalists met at work at WDBJ in Roanoke... but it was NOT love at first sight. 

"Her parents and she liked to tease me because she thought I was kind of a jerk.  She had another work for it," said Hurst.

In August of 2015, Alison and photographer Adam Warn were murdered on live TV by a violent co-worker who had recently been fired.  


"He was impossible to work with. Impossible to be around from day one.  He never should have been at that station," said Hurst, who has struggled to forgive the people who hired the killer, who'd been fired from other TV stations several times before. 

Through shock and pain, Hurst found the strength to grieve in public.

"We are taught in this society, I think, to grieve in a  very specific way.  To hide in a corner, to turn the lights off and to have a pity party for yourself.  But both her parents and I were resolved from day one that Alison would be pissed if we just stayed in a corner and had a pity party for ourselves," and that means getting up everyday to work toward making a difference in your life, explained Hurst.   He says that what he and Alison tried to do as journalists.  Now, instead of asking questions, he's hoping to come up with some solutions to problems people face. 

He decided to quit his job and run as a Democrat for Delegate of Virginia's District 12, which includes Roanoke and Blacksburg.   

Hurst and Alison's parents were in D.C. raising money for gubernatorial candidate Dr. Ralph Northam and other Virginia Democrats Wednesday night.  As a challenger in a Virginia state race, Hurst is one of the top fundraisers. And he makes no apologies for using the spotlight that's been on him to raise campaign money.  

Why is he running? 

"When I see her on the other side, I want her to think that I  did all I could, that she would still be proud of me.  But I'm running for office for the people of Southwest Virginia who were there for me when I needed it."  

Hurst says he hopes to make work places safer for employees... And keep guns away from dangerous people. 

Alison's father Andy Parker says Hurst is like their son, "the closest thing to Alison that we'll ever have. Chris is the real deal...Alison would be proud.  She's with us now and she's very proud of him. " 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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