RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Republican Travis Hackworth has won the special election in Virginia Senate District 38.

Hackworth defeated Democrat Laurie Buchwald in the race to fill the seat previously held by Sen. Ben Chafin, who died from COVID-19. 

“I would just like to honor his legacy by doing the best job I can do as senator and the first thing that we want to do is want to focus on our small businesses, our local small businesses in the 38th district,” said Hackworth.

He also wants to help school systems and assist with the expansion of broadband efforts.

Hackworth says he hopes to be sworn into office by the end of next week so he will be able to participate in the upcoming special session on April 7.

He is a business owner and current member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors.

Hackworth defeated five other candidates to secure the GOP nomination.

After the race, Laurie Buchwald held a Zoom call with the chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, Susan Swecker.

“I’m thrilled, I’ve got to tell you,” said Buchwald. “It’s hard to lose…always but I am so so proud and very happy to have been the candidate for senate in this district.”

Swecker thanked Buchwald for running in what she called the “one of the reddest districts in Virginia” where she says a Democrat has not run since 2014.

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