Campaign

Father of slain TV reporter announces bid for US House in Virginia

Gun control activist Andy Parker, whose journalist daughter was killed during a live television broadcast seven years ago, announced on Thursday that he will run as a Democrat against Rep. Bob Good (R) in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. 

“It’s become clear over the last two years that southside Virginia lacks a common-sense voice in Washington,” Parker said in a statement, according to WFXR in Roanoke, Va. “Instead of causing problems, I will work hard to fix them.”

Parker’s daughter, reporter Allison Parker, and photojournalist Adam Ward were fatally shot in 2015 while conducting a live interview. Both were employees of Roanoke’s CBS News affiliate WDBJ. Andy Parker has since become an outspoken voice against gun violence. 

He said that while gun violence will be an important issue for his campaign, he also hopes to take on social media companies in regards to the content that is allowed on their platforms.

Parker has been working for years to remove videos of his daughter’s death. Facebook and YouTube refused to remove videos of the incident, and Parker later testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to request that changes be made to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields social media companies and other websites from legal action for third-party content posted on their sites.

“I’m running for Congress to limit the influence of giant tech companies and billionaires,” he said. “To make the internet safer for kids and families and make the economy fairer for everyone.”

The newly announced Democratic candidate also hit Good over his past rhetoric, including his remarks on the 2020 presidential election results. 
 
“He’s one who has continually pushed the ‘Big Lie,'” Parker said, referring to former President Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020. “He didn’t even have the decency to vote to honor the Capitol Police officers who bravely risked their lives to preserve our republic.”

Parker will likely face an uphill climb in the district, which the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates as favorable for Republicans. The last Democrat to hold the seat was former Rep. Tom Perriello, who lost reelection in 2010. Analysis was map drawers after redistricting in late 2021 found that the district favors Republicans by eight points. 

Tags 2022 2022 midterm elections 2022 midterms Adam Ward Allison Parker Andy Parker Big tech Bob Good Donald Trump Election 2022 gun deaths gun violence Murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward Roanoke the big lie Virginia

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