Delegate Chris Hurst concedes race to Ballard for 12th District

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 10:33 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia Delegate Chris Hurst issued a statement conceding the race for House District 12 Wednesday morning, congratulating Delegate-elect Jason Ballard (R) on his win.

Hurst said in a tweet that he had reached out to Ballard Wednesday morning to congratulate him. He went on to say that it’s been an honor to serve in the position and thanks his supporters.

Hurst also released a longer written statement Wednesday morning:

“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.”

The concession comes after a tense election day, during which we learned Hurst has been accompanied Monday night by someone who was seen vandalizing campaign signs near Radford. He addressed the incident late Tuesday.

“We flipped over a couple of yard signs, took them, put them upside down and then put them right side up,” he told reporters. “That’s what we did.”

Hurst admitted the signs of Republican candidates were targeted, including his opponent for the 12th District Seat Jason Ballard, who early Wednesday was projected by the Associated Press to have beaten Hurst.

“This has been a real drag out race,” Hurst said Tuesday. “It’s been very competitive and to some degree it’s been sometimes nasty. Election Eve, you’ve run a really hard race, a very long campaign and you just do a prank to be a goof and it happens to be done by somebody who is very apologetic for what they’ve done.”

Hurst was subsequently pulled over following the incident and an officer noted that Hurst was driving with a suspended license, something Hurst later said he knew nothing about until that moment.

“The 93 Jeep didn’t have current insurance for it and I have not received a notice from DMV, so was not something I was aware of until the officers informed me of that.”

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