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Father of reporter killed on live TV is running for Congress

"People ask me, Why are you doing this? Politics is a cesspool ... Well, that all may be true, but it's nothing compared to losing a child," he said.

In 2015, reporter Alison Parker and her co-worker Adam Ward were shot to death on live TV.

While reporting for WDBJ, a station in Roanoke, Virginia, Parker and photojournalist Ward were attacked by gunman Vester Lee Flanagan II, a former reporter at WDBJ.

Before he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Flanagan posted a series of videos of the murder on social media. Although they have since been taken down, the live camera footage of the news team's deaths is still available online.

Andy Parker, Alison Parker's father and a gun-control advocate, spent years battling tech companies to try and get the footage taken down. After little success, Parker announced Friday that he is running for Congress to make the internet a "safer place for kids, and for families, and to make the economy fair for everyone."

"In America today, we've got an economy that makes tech billionaires rich enough to go to space while young people can't afford to go to college," he said in a video he shared on Twitter. "The tech moguls pay less federal taxes than regular working folks do. But they'll spin whatever it takes to rig the game in Washington."

"Meanwhile, their platforms spread lies and conspiracy theories, glorify violence, subject our kids to bullying and pornography, and tear our country apart," Parker continued.

Although Parker said he constantly gets asked why he's running for office since politics can sometimes be a "cesspool," he said he's not afraid to do this because being "attacked" by politicians is "nothing compared to losing a child."

Alison Parker smiles while holding red flowers that match her strapless dress.
Alison Parker smiles while holding red flowers that match her strapless dress.AndyParkerVA / Twitter

"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,” he concluded. "I invite you to join our campaign for change."

Alison Parker's boyfriend Chris Hurst also took a step into politics four years ago. In 2017, Hurst won a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates. He's now working to champion the causes that he and Parker cared most about, including health care reform and school funding.