RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia state Sen. Ben Chafin has died after contracting the coronavirus, Senate Republicans said Friday.
Chafin represented southwest Virginia and was from Russell County. A Republican, he was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2013 and then moved to the state Senate in 2014. He was 60.
Lawmakers from around the state mourned Chafin’s death late Friday.
“I knew Ben as a lawmaker, an attorney, a banker, and a farmer raising beef cattle in Moccasin Valley, working the land just as generations of his family had done before him,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “He loved the outdoors, and he loved serving people even more.”
“He served to ensure that his region and community, and the people he loved, would never be forgotten,” Senate Republicans said in a statement.
Chafin is the first Virginia lawmaker to die from the virus.
Statement on the passing of my dear friend and colleague, Senator Ben Chafin. pic.twitter.com/n4s8I3UKZA
— Todd Pillion (@ToddPillionVA) January 2, 2021
SWVA has lost a true leader. I am so sorry to lose my friend Senator Ben Chafin. Ben was a strong advocate for SWVA and a great Virginian. Pleas join me in lifting up Ben’s family in your prayers.
— Terry Kilgore (@delterrykilgore) January 2, 2021
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