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Donald McEachin, a Democrat in the House, Passes Away at Age 61
According to his office, Rep. Donald McEachin, a Democrat who had served as the district’s fourth congressman since 2017, passed away on Monday night following a battle with colorectal cancer. He was 61. The congressman has been dealing with “secondary effects of his colon cancer from 2013,” according to Eachin’s chief of staff, Tara Rountree.
Congressman Donald McEachin passed away, and we are all heartbroken about it, Rountree added. Since 2013, we have watched him valiantly battle and overcome the side effects of his colon cancer. She continued, “Tonight, he lost that struggle, and the citizens of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District lost a hero who always, always battled for them and put them first.
Till a new person is chosen to lead the district, Rountree stated that McEachin’s office “will remain open and continue to serve our residents.” “Privacy is requested at this time by the family. Plans will be revealed over the coming days, she added.
Tonight, I am mourning my friend, colleague, and mentor Congressman Donald McEachin.
He was a good man who endeavored to make others feel important and heard whether in the courtroom, the General Assembly, the U.S. Congress, or simply in a quiet moment.
— Rep. Abigail Spanberger (@RepSpanberger) November 29, 2022
McEachin was first chosen to serve in the House in 2016 and has since been returned in 2018, 2020, and most recently, earlier this month. In this year’s midterm elections, voters in Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District gave him nearly 64 percent of the vote.
McEachin became a prominent voice on topics like environmental injustices that low-income and communities of color experience during his term in Congress. He served on the Committees on Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis at the time of his death.
He also belonged to the Congressional Black Caucus, which is the largest Democratic group in the House and is committed to budgetary responsibility and pro-innovation policies, as well as the centrist New Democrat Coalition.
McEachin served in the Virginia state Senate and House of Delegates prior to entering Congress. On October 10, 1961, he was born in Nuremberg, Germany. He later earned degrees from American University and the University of Virginia School of Law.
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McEachin is the fourth member of the House to pass away while in the office this year. Rep. Jim Hagedorn passed away from renal cancer in February, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) passed away in March, and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) perished in an automobile accident over the summer.
As soon as word of McEachin’s passing spread, both chambers of Congress and colleagues from both parties sent their condolences. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) released a statement Monday night, saying, “I join Virginians tonight in grieving the passing of Congressman Donald McEachin: a relentless champion for Virginia families and a force for economic opportunity and environmental justice.”
She continued, “He leaves behind a legacy that will better the lives of all of our children for centuries to come and he will be profoundly missed by his colleagues. McEachin was referred to as “an intelligent and principled legislator” who was “respected by individuals on both sides of the aisle” by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).
In a statement, he said, “The Commonwealth and our nation have lost one of its most devoted public servants and tenacious campaigners for justice and equality.” McEachin, according to Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), was “a fighter.”
Don McEachin was a fighter right up until the very end, Warner said on Twitter. He “never lost his commitment to social and environmental justice, even though he fought cancer and experienced other challenges in recent years.”
He continued, “Tonight, Virginia lost a great leader, and I lost a dear friend. Pence says that running for vice president twice is enough. The passage of the same-sex marriage measure in the Senate is one step closer.
Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) likewise expressed his sorrow over the passing of McEachin.
Rep. Donald McEachin passed away, and I would like to send my condolences to his family, I would want to say that with grief,” he stated on Twitter. “I am appreciative of the care he gave me while we were on duty together for two years. I’m sending up prayers for his family.