According to reports, the 60-year-old Republican state senator from Virginia has died from coronavirus complications.
Richmond’s WRIC-TV reports that Sen. Ben Shafin of Lebanon in Russell County died after being treated at Richmond’s VCU Medical Center for the past two weeks.
Several legislators in the state paid tribute to Chafin on social media.
Republican State Sen. “Amanda and I are saddened to learn of the death of our dear friend, Senator Ben Shaffin,” wrote Ted Pillin. “Ben loved life, his family, his work, and the people of Southwest Virginia, for whom he worked tirelessly.”
Republican State Sen. “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our friend and colleague Senator Ben Chaffin,” Israel O’Queen wrote. “It’s Hugh’s loss to SWVA and his family and we all need to keep him in prayer.”
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Chaffin, a native of Virginia, has served in the State Senate since September 2014, having previously served in the House of Representatives of Virginia.
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Chaffin was known as an advocate of Second Amendment gun rights. Last year, he sponsored legislation to allow guns into churches after a shooting tragedy in Texas that killed more than two dozen worshipers.
In 2015, U.S. Chaffin fought on behalf of Virginia farmers and pastoralists against the Obama-era water-regulation plan by the Environmental Protection Agency, which Chaffin saw as an observation.
WFIC reports that Chafin left behind a wife of 38 years and three adult children.