Ben Chafin, a Republican state senator from Virginia, has died of problems 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 two weeks, his relatives stated in a statement.
Mr. Chafin, 60, was 1st elected to Virginia’s Senate in 2014. Just before his time as senator he served as a member of Virginia’s Property of Delegates. He was also the proprietor and operator of a cattle farm in Moccasin Valley, in the state’s southwest.
“Ben was deeply and wholeheartedly committed to the commonwealth, and in particular to the men and women of Southwest Virginia,” stated Thomas K. Norment Jr., the State Senate’s Republican leader.
In 2018, Mr. Chafin was a single of 4 Republicans who efficiently supported the growth of Medicaid in Virginia when his celebration managed the Senate.
“Doing nothing at all about the health-related situations, the state of wellness care in my district, just wasn’t the response any longer,” he stated on the Senate floor.
That identical 12 months, he sponsored a bill to enable guns in churches in response to a mass shooting at the 1st Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in which additional than two dozen men and women had been killed. The bill stalled in the Property.
Mr. Chafin grew up functioning on his family’s farm and had a portion-time occupation at a nearby meatpacking approach though in higher college, in accordance to his Senate site. He and his sister grew to become the 1st members of their relatives to graduate from school, and he went on to earn a law degree from the University of Richmond College of Law.
Gov. Ralph Northam made available his condolences to Mr. Chafin’s relatives on Friday, saying in a statement that he “will generally be grateful” for Mr. Chafin’s “courageous vote to increase wellness care for men and women who have to have it.”
“This is unhappy information, to start off a new 12 months with the reduction of a form and gracious guy,” Mr. Northam stated. “May we all recommit to taking more actions to care for a single yet another.”
Regional information shops reported that Mr. Chafin’s relatives will not have a formal burial services. At his behest, they stated, the relatives is requesting meals financial institution donations “in lieu of flowers and other acts of kindness.”