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I remember when I spoke with Ben Chafin to congratulate him on his election to the House of Delegates last November.  He is an attorney from Lebanon, VA and I was excited and happy for him.  I fervently believe there should be more attorneys in the legislature.  Lawyers bring their legal training to the fore to assist a citizen legislature in how courts will interpret their words in future cases.  Now I agree no elective body can long endure lawyers or holders of any other occupation to use the legislature to feather their own nests.  But I see no evidence of that in Delegate Ben Chafin.

I am especially impressed with the bill Del. Chafin got passed (one of several such bills that passed in his freshman year) about the emissions of carbon dioxide in an attempt to mitigate the Obama coal regulations.  Try this from the VGA summary:

Requires the Virginia Energy Plan to include, with regard to any regulations proposed or promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric generating units under Section 37 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, an analysis of the costs to and benefits for energy producers and electric utility customers; the effect on energy markets and reliability; and the commercial availability of technology required to comply with such regulations. * * * The Plan is also required to (i) examine policy options for state regulatory action to adopt less stringent standards or longer compliance schedules than those provided for in applicable federal rules or guidelines and (ii) identify options, to the maximum extent permissible, for any federally required regulation of carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units.

I read that summary to say:  We will know from an official source the adverse impact of the EPA regs on coal and also we will have opportunity to see what options we have to fight these job-killing and economy impoverishing coal regulations.

In short:  Del. Chafin did not just TALK about protecting coal but he’s seeking SOLUTIONS.  Del. Chafin is an effective legislator.

Check this out from his bio I got from his campaign (I wanted to make sure I was helpful not hurtful!  The campaign said we are glad to have support from a blogger at Virginia Right and would be honored to have the blog’s endorsement.  We’ll see about that!  Mike Young from the campaign said he was a regular reader of VR!) and see how you like it:

Delegate Ben Chafin represents the 4th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. A graduate of East Tennessee State University (B.A., 1982) and the University of Richmond School of Law (J.D., 1985), he is an attorney in private practice and the owner and operator of a beef-cattle farm in Moccasin Valley. He is Chairman of the Board of First Bank & Trust Company, which has branches throughout Southwest Virginia and Eastern Tennessee. He is a member and former president of Russell County Rotary.

Ben is an avid outdoorsman who regularly enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, and camping. Ben and his wife, Lora Lee (Carr) Chafin, are the parents of three children. The Chafin family worships at Community Heights Church in Lebanon.

I also agree with these quotes:

It has never been more important for Southwest to have a strong, effective voice in the Virginia Senate,” declared Chafin, 54. “With Washington Democrats imposing an extreme agenda that will cripple our mining industry, an economy that has yet to recover from the Great Recession, and an ongoing budget stalemate in the General Assembly that endangers funding for our schools and public safety professionals, we must have lawmakers in Richmond who will stand up and fight for Southwest.

As a farmer, I know the competitive pressures facing agriculture, and how our government – particularly in Washington – makes those challenges greater. As a rural lawyer and the Chairman of First Bank & Trust Company, I see first-hand the negative effects on our families of a declining economy, and the real heartbreak caused by the exodus of our children who must go elsewhere to find opportunity. As a Southwest native, I know the tremendous potential of Southwest, which has been blessed with tremendous natural resources and with people who possess a deep abiding faith in God and in the traditional values that have made America a great nation.

In the Senate of Virginia, I will fight for policies that will grow Southwest’s economy. I will stand up for coal, an energy source that can – and does – provide affordable power for the world. I will continue to be a voice for sensible healthcare policies that put patients first without the onerous government interference of Obamacare. I will stand up and fight for the values and traditions of Southwest Virginia.

I have been honored to represent the people of Southwest Virginia in the House of Delegates. Now, I am excited about the opportunity to serve them in the Senate of Virginia, where my election will bring a substantive change that can help end the gridlock that has permeated this year. I look forward to the challenge of the campaign and to the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Southwest Virginia.”

Chafin is solid.  I urge those voters in the 38th who will attend Thursday night’s mass meeting to vote Chafin.

Now let me say a few words about Ben’s chief opponent, Tamara Neo.  I like her.  She was the Commonwealth’s Attorney in Buchanan County and from what I read she tried to do many reforms like Drug Court in her county.  Neo lost to an excellent retail candidate and hometown boy make good, Gerald Arrington.  She should have a future in politics.  But we need one best able to win the special election.  Delegate Chafin can do that.  Maybe the opportunity will open up for Neo to serve the people in Southwest Virginia.

UPDATE:  Tom White agrees and it is a VIRGINIA RIGHT BLOG endorsement!


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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