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State Senator Ben Chafin dies from COVID-19 complications; Gov. Northam orders state flag to fly at half-staff

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Posted at 9:16 PM, Jan 01, 2021

RUSSELL COUNTY, Va. - State Sen. Ben Chafin (R-Lebanon) has died from complications from COVID-19.

The senator’s office confirmed the passing of Senator Chafin Friday night.

"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," said his office in a statement.

He was 60 years old.

At Chafin's request, the family will not hold a formal burial service and request that in lieu of flowers and other acts of kindness to please make food bank donations in Ben’s memory to the Elk Garden School Community Ministry at 52 Hayters Gap Road

Governor Northam released the following statement on Chafin's passing:

“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.”

House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement:

“House Republicans are grieving alongside our Senate colleagues at the loss of a truly upstanding man in Senator Ben Chafin. His commitment to the people of Southwest Virginia was unyielding. He was a fierce advocate for not only his region, but our entire Commonwealth. I ask that every Virginian join us as we pray for the Chafin family as they go through this difficult time.”