Father of TV reporter who was killed on air runs for Congress in Virginia
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Longtime Virginia gun control advocate Andy Parker, whose TV reporter daughter was killed seven years ago during a live news broadcast, is launching a Democratic run for Congress.
And Parker is taking aim at the social media giants who he blames for failing to prevent video of his daughter’s murder to be viewed millions of times on such platforms as Facebook and YouTube.
“I’m running for Congress to make the internet safer for kids and for families,” Parker emphasized in a video launching his campaign for the House of Representatives in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, in the hopes of challenging Republican Rep. Bob Good, a strong gun-rights supporter and one of the most conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
“In 2015, my 24-year-old daughter, Alison Parker, was shot and killed on live television. I had a choice to retreat into my grief or honor Alison’s life through action. I chose the latter. I’m running for Congress because Central and Southside Virginia need a fighter in Congress,” Parker explained in a tweet as he announced his candidacy.
And while reducing gun violence is still a top issue for Parker, he said it’s not the overarching focus of his bid for Congress. Parker the past few years has been taking aim at YouTube and other social media companies as he fights to remove video of the violent death of his daughter. He says if he’s elected, he’ll have a better chance in his push to remove the current protections such tech companies have from accountability if content posted on their sites causes harm. It’s an issue that to a degree unites Democrats and Republicans.
Looking back to his daughter’s murder, Parker writes on his campaign website that “what I didn’t realize then was that horrible day was only the beginning of a years-long fight. The video of Alison’s murder started showing up on Facebook and YouTube, and her last moments were ogled by strangers literally millions of times.”
“I kept asking that the videos be taken down, but the tech companies kept ignoring me. And the videos kept being uploaded, over and over again,” he stressed. “Almost seven years later it’s still happening. Some evil ghouls even made money selling ads around footage of my child’s death. And I cannot let that stand.”
In his campaign video, Parker noted that “people ask me ‘why are you doing this? Politics is a cesspool. You’ll get attacked. ‘ Well, that all may be true, but it’s nothing compared to losing a child.”
And over pictures of him and his daughter, Parker said, “You know, candidates for Congress don’t usually have running mates. But I do. And my running mate will be with me every step of the way. Alison has inspired me to take a stand.”
This isn’t Parker’s first run for elective office. He served as a Henry County board supervisor before running unsuccessfully in 2007 for Virginia’s House of Delegates. Parker now becomes the fourth candidate to seek this year’s Democratic nomination in the 5th District.
Good, who won the seat in 2020 after defeating GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman in a bitter Republican primary, now faces a primary challenge as he runs for a second term in Congress.
Fox News’ Mark Meredith contributed to this report
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