Chris Hurst beats Joseph Yost to win 12th District

Democrat Hurst unseats Republican in first bid for public office

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Democrat Chris Hurst won the 12th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates Tuesday, unseating incumbent Republican Joseph Yost.

The Associated Press called the race at 9 p.m.

When Hurst took the podium for his victory speech, his lead was 54 percent to Yost’s 46 percent with 97 percent of precincts reporting. 

Hurst, 30, won in his first campaign for public office after working as a local TV news anchor in southwest Virginia. 

Hurst prided himself on getting to know voters, as he and his campaign knocked on thousands of doors each month to gather support. He focused his campaign, in part, on promising to fight for increased access to Medicaid dollars for Virginians and to work to increase funding for New River Valley schools.

The two candidates raised more than a million dollars combined in what turned out to be an extremely expensive race. The campaigns drew international attention as networks across the country and in the UK interviewed the candidates in the weeks leading up to the election.

The attention largely came because of the tragedy Hurst has faced. His girlfriend, Alison Parker, was one of two co-workers killed on live TV in 2015. He's cited her death as part of his motivation to pursue a career in politics.

Yost, 31, has served the 12th District for the last six years.