Tensions high after social media exchange

By Debbie Hall

A social media exchange between two people in opposing political camps has at least one shaking his head in dismay after a state legislator made a reference to his parents.

He thought an ‘I’m having sex with your mom’ joke was an appropriate response to my reminding him of his recent avoidance of a DUI,” Wren Williams, a Stuart attorney with the Schneider & Williams P.C., law firm said, referring to a recent social media exchange with a state legislator.

Williams, who also is chairman of the Patrick County Republican Committee, said he took issue with a January 9 tweet on Del. Chris Hurst’s, D-Blacksburg, official social media page.

The tweet “Who wants to start a BBQ joint in the NRV where the owners don’t participate in an attempted coup?”

The post was made after Maria March, a businesswoman who owns Due South BBQ and Fatback Soul Shack restaurants, both in Hurst’s district, traveled with her husband and father to Washington on January 6 to hear President Donald Trump’s speech, Williams said. The family left after the speech to visit other sites and were not part of the violence that ensued. March condemned the violence in online posts.

To Hurst’s comment, Williams replied, “you driving?,” referring to the January 2020 incident in which Hurst was stopped on suspicion of drunk driving and blew .085 during a portable breath test. Hurst was detained but not charged in connection with the incident, according to reports at the time.

Hurst replied, “yea back from your mother’s house,” according to screenshots in the series of tweets. Williams shared a screenshot of the exchange on his social media page, along with the comment “A sitting member of the Virginia House of Delegates, ladies and gentlemen.”

The reply on Hurst’s page was “soon you can call me Dad.”

“After I quote tweeted, he doubled down on the immaturity, as if my mom’s going to leave my dad for him,” Williams said, adding that when he responded to the initial tweet, “I expected him to ignore me like a sitting member of the House of Delegates should.”

Although Hurst apologized to March, the comment about her businesses was not deleted, Williams said, adding that made him question the sincerity of the apology.

After Williams posted the exchange on his social media page, “some people started reaching out to me about sharing,” but he does not know whether details about the exchange have reached other legislators.

Hurst could not be reached for comment by press time.

The incident has been upsetting to Williams’ father, and “highly disappointing” to his mother, who lived and worked in Hurst’s district while attending Virginia Tech, Williams said. “It has hurt my mother’s feelings and hurt her as an individual.

“I am ashamed of him. I have no respect for him,” Williams said, adding the comments were “immature and disgusting. He thought it was going to be a funny snapback, but a government official making sexist comments about a constituent’s mother is not humorous.

Williams said he will use the comments, and others like them, as a springboard to continue addressing voter issues in the 2020 election.

Trump and some Republicans have said voter fraud was apparent in the 2020 election, while other members of the GOP, along with Democrats and state and federal judges, have steadfastly deemed the allegations baseless.

Williams, who was among the volunteers involved in the Wisconsin vote recount, alleged he saw cases of fraud firsthand.

Williams traveled to Madison, Wis., on Nov. 19 and spent several weeks handling “run of the mill objections” when concerns were raised by other volunteers.

“I was asked to stay on when they got ready to do litigating,” Williams said, and added that responses in the case that is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court are due by Feb. 3. Pennsylvania and Georgia also have cases pending, he said.

“Trump isn’t going to be president if we win our case, but the laws could be changed” to address recent changes that allow ballot harvesting, same-day registration and eliminating the requirement for a photo identification would instill voter confidence in future elections, Williams said.

The recount, he said, “was surreal, but also a learning experience. It was a great experience.”


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