RADFORD, Va. – Less than 24 hours before election day, Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst, the democratic 12th District incumbent running for reelection, was pulled over by Radford City Sheriff’s deputies after a female passenger in his vehicle was allegedly seen taking campaign signs, according to Radford Sheriff Mark Armentrout. He told 10 News that Hurst was driving with a suspended license and given a “driving while suspended notification” by a deputy.
We’re told Hurst was pulled over after a deputy saw a woman outside a voting precinct Monday night taking campaign signs, then leaving in Hurst’s vehicle and driving away. Armentrout said Hurst told deputies he was unaware that his license was suspended.
The woman in Hurst’s vehicle, who was later identified as Emily Frentress, Hurst’s girlfriend, was asked by deputies to return the signs to the voting precinct. Armentrout said she complied with the order and that Frentress has not been charged.
WSLS 10 News contacted Hurst’s campaign Monday night for comment. As of Tuesday morning, we have not received a response.
Information on which campaign signs were allegedly tampered with has not been released. Armentrout could not confirm why Hurst’s license is suspended; however, we do know that it is not related to him blowing a .085 during a traffic stop last year because he was not charged in connection to that incident.
While working to find out what the suspension could be tied to, 10 News found at least eight speeding and expired registration citations in court records dating back to 2012. It is still unknown if the suspension is tied to any of those citations.
10 News also reached out to Radford City Police for more information.
According to Radford City Police, the vandalism incident happened at about 9:24 p.m. near a polling precinct in Radford. We were also told that at this time, Virginia State Police is now investigating the incident.
Republican candidate Jason Ballard made a statement on Facebook Tuesday morning regarding the incident. “This isn’t how your representative should act,” Ballard said. “Vote today for new leadership in the House of Delegates!”
Ballard issued this statement to 10 News:
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. 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.Republican candidate Jason Ballard
Chris Hurst’s campaign manager said they do not have a comment.