Ben Chafin, a Republican state senator from Virginia, has died of issues of Covid-19, the State Senate’s Republican Caucus confirmed on Friday evening. He had been receiving treatment at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond for 2 weeks, his household mentioned in a press release.
Mr. Chafin, 60, was first elected to Virginia’s Senate in 2014. Earlier than his time as senator he served as a member of Virginia’s Home of Delegates. He was additionally the owner and operator of a cattle farm in Moccasin Valley, within the state’s southwest.
“Ben was deeply and wholeheartedly dedicated to the commonwealth, and particularly to the individuals of Southwest Virginia,” mentioned Thomas Okay. Norment Jr., the State Senate’s Republican chief.
In 2018, Mr. Chafin was one in all 4 Republicans who efficiently supported the growth of Medicaid in Virginia when his occasion managed the Senate.
“Doing nothing in regards to the medical circumstances, the state of well being care in my district, simply wasn’t the reply any longer,” he said on the Senate floor.
That very same 12 months, he sponsored a invoice to permit weapons in church buildings in response to a mass taking pictures on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, through which greater than two dozen individuals have been killed. The invoice stalled within the Home.
Mr. Chafin grew up engaged on his household’s farm and had a part-time job at an area meatpacking plan whereas in highschool, based on his Senate web site. He and his sister turned the primary members of their household to graduate from school, and he went on to earn a regulation diploma from the College of Richmond Faculty of Legislation.
Gov. Ralph Northam supplied his condolences to Mr. Chafin’s household on Friday, saying in a statement that he “will all the time be grateful” for Mr. Chafin’s “brave vote to broaden well being look after individuals who want it.”
“That is unhappy information, to start a brand new 12 months with the lack of a sort and gracious man,” Mr. Northam mentioned. “Might all of us recommit to taking additional steps to look after each other.”
Native information retailers reported that Mr. Chafin’s household is not going to have a proper burial service. At his behest, they mentioned, the household is requesting meals financial institution donations “in lieu of flowers and different acts of kindness.”