TAZEWELL COUNTY, VA (WVN) — On Jan . 1, 2021, Virginia State senator Ben Chafin died due to complications from COVID-19
Many knew Senator Chafin as an attorney, a legislator, and most importantly, a voice for the area. Charles Stacy, the Chair of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, knew Senator Ben Chafin mainly through their shared interests. Both men practiced law in the state, and both men ran their own cattle farms. Stacy said because of these shared interests, he spent a lot of time with Chafin.
“If we had something to talk about, the case we were involved in, you could call and take some of that time while he was travelling and then you could put your board of supervisors hat on and say ‘well while I’ve got you in the car and I know you’re stuck, lets talk about some of the things going on in Tazewell County,” said Stacy.
Stacy said Chafin treated every person the same, no matter their political party affiliation. He told 59News he will miss Chafin’s accessibility and personable nature the most.
“We could have hour long conversations about anything and find lots of areas that we agreed upon, and then when the lights came on and the doors opened up, you had to go your separate ways,” said Stacy.
Those at the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department shared their condolences as well.
Sheriff Brian Hieatt said Chafin always showed support of law enforcement. Whether it was meeting with deputies to try and improve the department, or just making himself accessible, Sheriff Hieatt said he was truly someone you wanted in your corner.
“Losing Senator Chafin not only affects Tazewell County and Russell County, but also all of southwest Virginia because he was a very big supporter of law enforcement,” said Sheriff Hieatt.
Senator Chafin was the voice for people from Radford to Wise. He lived in Russell County. Stacy said he was a driving force in trying to help the people in both Russell and Tazewell counties.
“So to lose the one representative you have, from a governing standpoint and a representative standpoint, is truly potentially devastating for southwest Virginia because you no longer have a voice,” said Stacy.
Both Stacy and Sheriff Hieatt, along with countless others in the area, want to send their prayers and condolences to the Chafin family.
Both Stacy and Hieatt said they hope his family knows how much he meant to the area.