County native seeking to fill State Senate seat

A Pulaski County native is in the running to fill the State Senate seat left vacant by the death New Year’s Day of Ben Chaffin, who died of complications from COVID-19.

Chad Dotson, a law professor at the Appalachia School of Law, former political blogger and retired Circuit Court Judge, is originally from Pulaski County.

According to Virginia conservative political website, Dotson is seen by some as having the inside track on the Republican nomination to seek the open seat when a Special Election is held March 23.

Candidates for the Special Election must be nominated by their respective political parties by Jan. 22.

According to, the 38th State Senate District Republican Legislative District Committee met Tuesday evening, and decided a “firehouse primary” will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21.

According to Pulaski County Republicans, voters here can cast their vote at the New River Valley Fairgrounds in Dublin. All registered voters in the county can participate.

Radford City residents will also vote at the Fairgrounds.

Other voters residing in the 38th State Senate District can find their voting location by visiting

Those wishing to seek the GOP nomination have until Monday, Jan. 17 to file as candidates.

Other announced candidates for the GOP nomination – as of Thursday – include Dickinson County Deputy Jony Baker, Tazewell businessman Travis Hackworth, Rawlings farmer and policy advisor Kimberly Lowe, Buchanan County lawyer Tamara Neo and Lebanon Town Council Member Elijah Leonard.

The Patriot has heard no word yet on any Democratic Party candidates for the seat.