Report: Virginia Democrat pulled over on election night after passenger seen tampering with campaign signs

Politics is often a dirty and ruthless business — and sometimes, candidates end up going too far in their attempts to gain an edge over their rivals.

That may be what occurred Monday night when a Democratic incumbent in the Virginia House of Delegates was pulled over by police after a passenger in his vehicle was apparently spotted tampering with campaign signs near a polling precinct, Fox News reported.

Alleged tampering with campaign signs

According to Fox, Delegate Chris Hurst (D) was pulled over by police in Radford, Virginia, after a Radford County Sheriff’s deputy saw a woman — later identified as Hurst’s girlfriend, Emily Frentress — removing campaign signs from outside a recreation center, then getting into a vehicle and driving away.

After a traffic stop was initiated, police discovered that Hurst had been driving that vehicle with a suspended license, and he was reportedly issued a notification, according to local NBC affiliate WSLS.

Frentress was said to have complied with an order by the police to return the stolen and damaged signs to where they were taken from.

It was unclear why Hurst’s license was suspended, and a 2020 incident in which he was pulled over for suspected drunk driving was ruled out, because he was never actually charged in that incident. WSLS did note, however, that the delegate had at least eight citations on his driving record for speeding and an expired registration dating back to 2012.

No record of citation

The Roanoke Times reported on the alleged vandalism Monday night, but said no evidence could be found that Hurst had actually been issued a citation or “notification” for driving with a suspended license, as had been claimed by Radford Sheriff Mark Armentrout.

A spokesperson for the city of Radford said no citations were issued, and there was no sign of any citation in the Radford courthouse listings or other electronic databases. The Times noted, however, that courts in the state are closed for Election Day.

The matter was referred to the Virginia State Police for investigation, but that agency declined to comment when asked by reporters. Hurst’s Republican opponent, Jason Ballard, did have something to say, however.

“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,” Ballard said, according to the Times. “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.”

Hurst concedes

Unfortunately for Hurst, his time in the House of Delegates will soon end, as WSLS reported separately that the incumbent conceded Wednesday morning to his GOP challenger.

With more than 90% of precincts reporting, Ballard led Hurst by nearly 3,000 votes, or 55% to Hurst’s 45% of the votes counted.

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