State Del. Ben Chafin of Russell County has walked away with an easy victory in the Senate District 38 special election.
The Republican attorney, farmer and businessman from House District 4 replaces Democrat Phillip Puckett, tipping control of the state Senate to the GOP.
A special election will be needed to fill the second year of Chafin's term in the House district, which includes five precincts in Wise County, all of Dickenson County, most of Russell County and part of Washington County.
With all but one of 159 precincts reported, Chafin received 17,215 votes, or 59.1 percent of the total vote.
Democrat Mike Hymes, a Tazewell County supervisor and coal company executive, received 9,400 votes, or nearly 32.3 percent of the total.
Independent businessman and funeral home owner Rick Mullins of Clintwood received, 2,499 votes, or nearly 8.6 percent.
District 38 includes Norton, where Chafin took 211 votes to 126 for Hymes and 63 for Mullins, and part of Wise County. In the county, Chafin received 1,087 votes to 468 for Hymes and 252 for Mullins.
In Dickenson County, Mullins prevailed with 1,044 votes to 960 for Chafin and 683 for Hymes.
Chafin won Buchanan County with 1,897 votes to 1,280 for Hymes and 206 for Mullins.
Chafin got roughly double the votes of Hymes in Tazewell, Russell, and the part of Smyth County that is in the district.
Hymes ran just 30 votes behind Chafin in Radford, but Chafin was dominant in Bland County with a 555-vote advantage.