Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly opened their legislative session Wednesday afternoon with condolences and mourning for the late state Sen. Ben Chafin, who died of COVID-19 complications.
“Ben was a shining example of a wonderful gentleman who always found the best in anyone he talked to,” Sen. John Cosgrove said. “I hope that we will all remember Ben as the gentleman and wonderful person he actually was.”
Several senators offered their condolences and memories of their former colleague, with Sen. Todd Pillion getting emotional during his remarks. Some used their time to highlight how serious the health threat of this still-raging coronavirus pandemic is.
Chafin, 60, died this month from COVID-19 complications after being hospitalized for weeks.
First elected to the House of Delegates in 2013 and then elected to the state Senate in 2014, he represented the 38th District.
In the Senate, his desk was draped in a black cloth and adorned with roses. Meanwhile, the House adopted a resolution in his honor.
The start of the 2021 General Assembly Session began honoring the memory of Senator Ben Chafin. I was proud to speak this afternoon asking that the House of Delegates adjourn in Senator Chafin’s honor today.— Terry Kilgore (@delterrykilgore) January 13, 2021
It’s been an emotional start to this year’s Session. pic.twitter.com/ERsyUiKuuV
Both chambers are taking steps to follow safety protocols in light of the pandemic — with the House meeting virtually and the Senate moved to the Science Museum of Virginia where they can social distance.
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