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Boyfriend of slain Virginia TV reporter wins seat in Virginia General Assembly as a Democrat

Chris Hurst, the boyfriend of a TV reporter killed on live TV in 2015, won a seat in Virginia's General Assembly on Tuesday. (Image source: YouTube)

More than two years ago, Chris Hurst was thrusted into the national spotlight after his girlfriend, WDBJ-TV reporter Allison Parker, was murdered on live TV. On Tuesday, Hurst successfully ran a campaign for a spot in Virginia’s General Assembly.

What happened?

Hurst spent seven years as a reporter and anchor for WDBJ, but chose to run for office in February, resigning his job as a news anchor and filing paperwork to challenge the assembly’s 12th district incumbent, Republican Joseph Yost.

Hurst went on to win the Democratic nomination for the seat and on Tuesday, defeated Yost, who had held the seat for the previous three terms. According to the Virginia Department of Elections, Hurst won the seat by a relatively comfortable margin, 54.3 percent to Yost's 45.5 percent.

According to the Roanoke Times, the race was one of the most expensive general assembly races in the Commonwealth and one of the most expensive in the country. Both candidates dropped more than $1 million on their campaigns. However, Hurst was able to out-fundraise Yost and corralled donations from more than two dozen other states, the Times reported.

Was Hurst's campaign a gun-control only campaign?

Seeing that Hurst's girlfriend was the victim of gun violence, and that her father went on national TV after her death vowing to fight for further gun restrictions, many believed gun control would be the central issue of Hurst's campaign. However, it wasn't.

He explained on CNN Wednesday: "This race has been more about education and more about expanding Medicaid, and with the Democratic wave at the top of the ticket down to the assembly level, we can finally do that in Virginia."

Still, he said with massive Democratic gains in the assembly, addressing gun violence will surely be on the docket next year.

"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," he said.

How did Democrats do overall in Virginia?

On Tuesday, Democrats simply cleaned house. Not only did they retain the governorship with a win by Ralph Northam, but switched the state house from a nearly 2-1 Republican control to a likely slim Democratic control. So far, Democrats have gained 15 seats, while another four are too close to call.

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