A Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates was pulled over by police Monday after a deputy noticed a woman exit the car he was driving and take some campaign signs.
Chris Hurst, a Democrat representing Virginia’s 12th legislative district, was given a “notice” that he was “driving with a suspended license,” according to the Roanoke Times, after a Radford County Sheriff’s deputy saw a woman “turning over” and “bending over” campaign signs outside a recreation center.
The woman then got into a vehicle, driven by Hurst. The deputy called for assistance and a local police officer pulled the vehicle over. He then notified Hurst that he was driving with a suspended license, but no citations were given, according to a city spokesperson.
The deputy noticed that some of the signs had been damaged. The woman, later identified as Hurst’s girlfriend, Emily Frentress, was asked to return the signs. She complied with the request, local news reported, per Fox News. No other information about the nature of the signs was given by local police.
The city has referred its investigation to the Virginia State Police, who told Fox News that they could not comment on the suspension because the “inquiry concerns an elected official.” VSP said they “can only investigate an elected official at the authorization of the Attorney General.”
Hurst, whose district includes Radford County, Giles County, and parts of two other counties was elected in 2017 and assumed office in 2018. He is running for a third term against Republican challenger Jason Ballard.
Ballard released a statement to the Roanoke Times following reports of the traffic stop:
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.
According to The Roanoke Times, Hurst was pulled over in the town of Christiansburg in January of last year, after registering a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.085 percent, just above the legal limit. The outlet reported that his breath smelled of alcohol and he struggled with a “walk and turn” test, but he passed other field tests. He was told to let his girlfriend drive him home.
The outlet reported that field breath tests are not admissible in court, and Hurst’s BAC level was such that by the time he would have been taken to a magistrate’s office for a test, he would likely have been below the limit. It was also within 15 days of the next legislative session, which was within the period of legal immunity for Virginia legislators.
Virginia voters head to the polls Tuesday. Polls close at 7 p.m.
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