A Virginia Democratic state lawmaker was pulled over by local police as Election Day in the state approached after a deputy saw a woman removing campaign signs and getting back into a car that the lawmaker was driving.
Del. Chris Hurst was pulled over by a Radford, Va., deputy on Monday evening after the officer saw the woman remove the campaign signs on display near a city recreation center before getting back into the vehicle, according to Radford Sheriff Mark Armentrout.
After the deputy pulled Hurst over, the officer discovered that Hurst was operating the vehicle under a suspended license. The deputy then issued the state lawmaker a “driving while suspended notification,” according to local media.
The sheriff referred Fox News to the Radford City Police Department for more information about why Hurst has a suspended license. Officials with that department told the network the incident has now been handed off to the Virginia State Police, who told the network that they could not make any comments regarding the suspended license due to the fact that the “inquiry concerns an elected official.”
“VSP can only investigate an elected official at the authorization of an elected official,” the state police said.
Meanwhile, Radford City Police officials confirmed that several political signs had been damaged.
UPDATE: The Radford City Police Officer confirms damage to several political signs and says issue has been referred to Virginia State Police.
— Daniel Grimes (@dnlgrimes) November 2, 2021
After Hurst and his female companion, Emily Frentress, were pulled over, the deputy asked her to return the signs and she complied according to WSLS.
Hurst, a former journalist, is currently running for his office as an incumbent after first being elected in 2018. He went into politics after his then-fiancee, TV reporter Alison Parker, was murdered along with her cameraman as they were doing a live interview for a local Virginia morning show in Moneta. His candidacy was supported by gun control groups, but he focused primarily on healthcare and education. Parker and her cameraman were killed by a disgruntled former employee at the local station who then killed himself as police moved in.
Hurst represents the 12th District of Virginia which includes Radford and Giles County and some other areas.
Jason Ballard, his GOP challenger, noted in a statement Tuesday that the incident is “yet another reason why he doesn’t deserve another term as Delegate.”
“I am deeply disappointed that Chris Hurst has decided to end his campaign in such a reckless way. His latest misstep is yet another reason why he doesn’t deserve another term as Delegate,” Ballard said.
“I, on the other hand, will remain laser focused on the issues that matter most to the people of the 12th District. I will always strive to set a good and positive example for my children and the fine people of the New River Valley,” Ballard added.
One of the most high-profile races on Tuesday is taking place in Virginia between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin for the governorship in a contest that could have national political implications.
Observers have said if Youngkin pulls off a victory to become the first Republican to win statewide office since 2009, that won’t bode well for congressional Democrats during next year’s midterms amid President Biden’s falling approval ratings.
“Youngkin pulled ahead of McAuliffe in a Fox News poll last week, with Youngkin garnering 53% support to McAuliffe’s 45%,” the network reported last week.
Last year, Hurst was pulled over by police in Christiansburg after swerving while driving. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.085 percent, which was above the legal limit. However, officers told him to let his girlfriend drive him home and he was released though he struggled with a “walk and turn” test, according to local reports.
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