ROANOKE, Va. — Andy Parker, whose daughter Alison was killed on live television during a news report two years ago, said Thursday he was considering running for the seat of retiring Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte.
Parker has been an outspoken critic of Goodlatte, the powerful chairman of the House judiciary committee, for his longstanding ties with the National Rifle Association. Parker’s daughter lived in Goodlatte’s district, and the father has pushed for gun control ever since she was killed.
Parker said he’s been talking with his family about the possibility of running for the seat as a Democrat. Parker lives outside the district, and if he were to run and win, his family would have to move.
“I’ve got some time to ponder it,” Parker said.
Parker said he was at the dentist’s office Thursday morning when his daughter’s boyfriend, Chris Hurst, texted him with the news about Goodlatte’s retirement. Hurst on Tuesday won a seat in the Virginia statehouse.
“I feel like the dog chasing the car and finally caught it,” Parker said of Goodlatte not seeking re-election. “I’m just glad to see the guy is finally going to get out of office.”
Parker said he joked with his wife, Barbara, that she should run, but she immediately ruled out that possibility.
The father has been an outspoken advocate for his daughter, who was shot to death during a live broadcast in August 2015. The man who killed Alison had a turbulent work history that wasn’t known to staff at her Roanoke, Virginia, TV station when he was first hired there.
Goodlatte has been in office since 1993, winning by huge margins throughout his career. He holds an “A” grade from the NRA for his longstanding support of gun rights.
Parker had pressed Goodlatte to hold a hearing on legislation to reduce gun violence in the months after Alison was killed. He called out the congressman on TV and in op-eds for being in the “pocket of the NRA.”
“It’s good for the country that he’s leaving office,” Parker said.