Bodycam video that shows the interaction between Del. Chris Hurst and a Radford City police officer has been released to 10 News.
Hurst and his girlfriend, Emily Frentress, were pulled over on Monday night after a deputy allegedly spotted them tampering with campaign signs at a polling location. The 12th District incumbent was also cited for or driving with a suspended license and given a “driving while suspended notification.”
Hurst told 10 News that his license was suspended due to an insurance lapse, and that he was not aware that his license was suspended until he was pulled over Monday night.
You can see photos authorities took of the campaign signs in question here and below:
The photos show signs for Republican candidates like Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin, Jason Miyares and Hurst’s opponent, Delegate-Elect Jason Ballard flipped and on the ground.
Below is part of the interaction between the officer and Hurst transcribed from the bodycam video:
Officer: “I think what you need to do after I deal with you here is go back and fix those signs. What do you think? You try to resort to doing this? Instead of doing a fair election? Chris, quit playing. Quit playing. Y’all are up there turning over signs at the polling area and you’re sitting here acting like you don’t know what’s going on?”
Hurst: “...Here’s what I would say. I would think that something that was a little hijinks and steam blowing off is exactly what everybody over on the other side of the mountain does and people all over this district do.”
Officer: “So you’re going to resort to that and represent us?”
Hurst: “I need you to just do your job here tonight and I’ll do mine. I have nothing more to say to you, officer. I’m sorry for actions that I may have done or my partner may have done, but I think you’re getting a little emotional here.”
Officer: “I’m not getting emotional at all, you’re supposed to be representing us. You’re supposed to be out here representing us and not out here acting like a school kid. How am I supposed to vote for you if you’re out here doing this?”
Hurst: “Were you planning on voting for me?”
Officer: “Well, that’s all up in the air now.”
Hurst: “I’m sorry if I lost your support, sir.”
You can watch the full 15-minute bodycam video here:
10 News tried to get in contact with Hurst or someone from his campaign throughout the day on Election Day to no avail, until he addressed his supporters and members of the media around 11 p.m. at his watch party.
When asked about the incident, Hurst referred to it as a prank.
When asked whose signs he flipped over, he said the signs belonged to Republican candidates. 10 News reporter Sydney Jaxtheimer asked if any of the signs belonged to Hurst’s opponent, Jason Ballard, Hurst said: “I think one Jason Ballard sign and one Youngkin sign.”
You can see our full interview with Hurst at his watch party below:
Hurst conceded the race to his opponent, Delegate-Elect Jason Ballard, on Wednesday morning.
You can read Hurst’s full statement below:
This morning, I tried to reach Delegate-elect Jason Ballard to congratulate him on last night’s results and I hope we have the chance to talk soon. I wish him and his family well and that they may continue the progress the New River Valley has seen.
I first ran for office because Southwest Virginia supported and prayed for me during my time of need in 2015 after the murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward; I wanted to give back to a community that has given me so much. The New River Valley allowed me the chance to serve when I was first elected in 2017 and I am forever grateful and indebted to each person in our beautiful valley. Thank you for the privilege and the honor of serving.
Thank you to the thousands of supporters that have helped build a grassroots movement that demanded more of their government and went to work to make that more possible. It's because of them that we made historic investments in broadband internet, secured more than $250 million for Amtrak to Christiansburg, and delivered more than $2 billion for long-overdue repairs to I-81. I am particularly proud we accomplished our mission of creating an Office of Children’s Ombudsman to protect vulnerable children across Virginia. We came up short last night, but tomorrow that work begins again, and I’ll be here, shoulder to shoulder, to help see this work through.
Finally, thank you to my family and friends for their incredible support as I started and now have finished this journey into public office. I am looking forward to spending a lot more time with them in the future as we plan what’s next.Del. Chris Hurst