A former television news anchor whose reporter girlfriend was shot and killed during a live broadcast has been elected to Virginia's House of Delegates.
Democrat Chris Hurst, 30, defeated Republican incumbent Joseph Yost, receiving 53.51 per cent of the vote, and will represent Virginia's 12th House district in Richmond.
Hurst spent six years as a reporter for WDBJ-TV where he met Alison Parker, a 24-year-old reporter fatally shot during a live broadcast in August 2015, according to the Daily Mail.
The shooting and his relationship with Parker catapulted Hurst into the national spotlight as the public face of the grieving Roanoke station.
Hurst, a Pennsylvania native, quit his TV job and moved to Blacksburg in February to run for a statehouse seat after briefly considering a run for Congress.
Hurst's campaign was backed by gun-control groups, although the campaign issues he focused on were mainly education, health care and the environment.
The Roanoke Times reported that both candidates spent more than US$1million ($1.4m) on the race - making it one of the state's most expensive House of Delegates campaigns. Hurst garnered support from donors in more than two dozen states.
Parker was interviewing Vicki Gardner, the executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, when gunman Vester Lee Flanagan II approached and started shooting at the two women and cameraman Adam Ward.
The interview was being aired live so tens of thousands of homes were tuned in as the attack unfolded.
Parker and Ward, 27, died at the scene but Gardner, 41, survived with a bullet wound to her back.
Flanagan then fled Smith Mountain Lake in his Ford Mustang. He switched the car for one he rented a month earlier at the airport and then headed east.
While being pursued by police, Flanagan, a former co-worker of Parker and Ward, posted several tweets detailing his grudges against the two victims as well as a graphic video showing his point of view during the murders.
Police finally cornered Flanagan about five hours later and he committed suicide.
"Because of you, this community, and your love and support, I have been able to face each day with the hope that it does get better," Hurst told his viewers during his final broadcast in February.
"You held my hand as I walked through the wilderness, and I'm connected more to humanity than I ever thought possible. For that, I thank you."
Parker's parents have also stated new interest in public policy after the murder of their daughter.
Calling it his "mission in life", Parker's father told Fox News that he would fight for gun legislation that closes loopholes and ensures background checks.
After the shooting, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe called for stricter gun laws, restating his support for background checks.
Where to get help
If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.
OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:
• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
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