Virginia state senator dies from COVID-19 complications

Virginia state senator dies from COVID-19 complications
A. Benton Chafin, Jr. (Source: Virginia General Assembly)

RUSSELL Co., Va. (WWBT) - Virginia State Senator Augustus Benton (Ben) Chafin, Jr. died of COVID-19 complications on New Year’s Day.

“The family of Senator Chafin thank the VCU Medical Center in Richmond for its vigorous care and heartfelt support during his two weeks of medical services there,” a release said.

Chafin (R-District 38) first served in the Virginia House of Delegates in 2013 and was elected to the state senate in 2014.

“He had a distinguished legislative record and a very high rate of passed legislation. He advocated jobs in his district, particularly in the coalfields where the decline of coal has devastated local economies. He was a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, economic development and health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians,” a release said.

Chafin, a Russell County native, was born in 1960. He was married to his wife for 38 years and a father of three.

Governor Ralph Northam released the following statement:

“With the passing of Senator Ben Chafin, Southwest Virginia has lost a strong advocate—and we have all lost a good man.

“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. He loved the outdoors, and he loved serving people even more. He pushed hard to bring jobs and investment to his district, and I will always be grateful for his courageous vote to expand health care for people who need it.

“Pam and I are praying for Lora and their children, and I have ordered the Virginia state flag to be lowered immediately in his honor and remain at half-staff until sunset on the day of his interment.

“This is sad news to begin a new year with the loss of a kind and gracious man. May we all recommit to taking extra steps to care for one another.”

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