‘Tonight, he lost that battle’: Congressman Donald McEachin dies at 61

Virginia Congressman Donald McEachin died on Monday at age 61, weeks after profitable a fourth time period representing all of Richmond, components of Henrico and Chesterfield counties, and the Tri-Cities space within the 4th Congressional District.

McEachin’s dying was sudden, however his sickness was not. He had been affected by the after-effects from the profitable therapy of colorectal most cancers eight years in the past.

“We’re all devastated on the passing of our boss and pal, Congressman Donald McEachin,” Tara Rountree, the Democratic congressman’s chief of employees, stated in a press release on Monday evening.

“Valiantly, for years now, we’ve watched him struggle and conquer the secondary results of his colorectal most cancers from 2013,” Rountree stated. “Tonight, he misplaced that battle and the folks of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional district misplaced a hero who all the time, all the time fought for them and put them first.”

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McEachin, who was elected twice to the Home of Delegates and served 9 years within the Senate, had simply defeated Republican Leon Benjamin on Nov. 8 for the second time. His fourth time period was scheduled to start in January.


U.S. Rep A. Donald McEachin, D-4th, throughout an interview with reporters and editors on the Richmond Occasions-Dispatch, in Richmond, June 14, 2019.

“Till a brand new consultant is elected, our workplace will stay open and proceed to serve our constituents,” Rountree stated.

His spouse, Colette, is Richmond’s commonwealth’s legal professional. McEachin, a lawyer who lived in South Richmond, additionally leaves behind a son and two daughters.

“The household asks for privateness right now,” Rountree stated. “Preparations will probably be introduced over the following few days.”

McEachin, who stood 6 toes 5 inches tall, revealed in 2018 that he had developed a fistula — an irregular connection between the bladder and colon — as the results of most cancers surgical procedure.

He misplaced 60 kilos and underwent various surgical procedures to right the situation, which he handled as  momentary and never an impediment to his work within the Home of Representatives.

McEachin was first elected to congress in 2016 after a court docket ordered redistricting of the 4th District as a part of its response to alleged racial gerrymandering of the Third District by Common Meeting Republicans.

The 4th District now contains all or a part of 15 cities and counties, stretching from Richmond to Brunswick, Greensville and Southampton counties. It will get about three-fourths of its votes from Richmond and from japanese Henrico and japanese Chesterfield.


A. Donald McEachin taken 09/11/1991 by Bob Brown

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Third, hailed McEachin’s legacy as “a trailblazer in Virginia politics” as the primary African American to run because the nominee of a significant get together for legal professional common in 2001, finally shedding to Republican Jerry Kilgore, and because the third to be elected to Congress from the state.

(John Mercer Langston, elected in 1888 to characterize the 4th District, was Virginia’s first African American in Congress. Scott turned the second 105 years later.)

“Donald was a considerate and principled legislator and revered by folks on each side of the aisle,” Scott stated.

Earlier than serving in Congress, McEachin had an extended profession as a personal-injury lawyer and co-owner of the McEachin & Gee legislation agency in Henrico County, however he additionally has a grasp’s diploma in divinity from Virginia Union College. He didn’t lead a church, however helped at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Beaverdam.

“There’s ministry within the church, and there’s ministry outdoors of the church,” he stated in 2018.

McEachin’s priorities in Congress included defending the Reasonably priced Care Act and girls’s reproductive rights, combating local weather change and selling environmental justice, and preserving Black cemeteries.

He launched the African American Burial Grounds Preservation Act, a measure that would offer $3 million yearly to protect and restore Black cemeteries.

McEachin took private pleasure in main a profitable effort to rename Fort Lee after Lt. Gen. Arthur J. Gregg, the Military’s highest rating minority common when he retired in 1981, and Lt. Col. Charity Adams. Gregg was a lifelong pal of the congressman’s father, a U.S. Military veteran.

“It is an amazing day in Virginia,” the congressman exclaimed after a congressional naming fee introduced its selections in Could to switch the previous Accomplice common’s identify on the sprawling base outdoors of Petersburg in his district.


The 2001 Democratic ticket (standing, left to proper) A. Donald McEachin, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine made their first joint look on the South Richmond Senior Middle on Hull Avenue.

Juliette Corridor (left, in crimson) and Mary Miller pay attention.

On Twitter Monday evening, Gov. Glenn Youngkin wrote: “It is so unhappy to study of the passing of @Rep. McEachin. A valiant fighter till the tip, he admirably served Virginia & labored tirelessly to enhance the lives of his constituents & People. Suzanne & I are pondering of his household, buddies & group throughout this troublesome time.”

U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Seventh, in a press release late Monday stated: “Tonight, I’m mourning my pal, colleague, and mentor Congressman Donald McEachin. He was man who endeavored to make others really feel necessary and heard whether or not within the courtroom, the Common Meeting, the U.S. Congress, or just in a quiet second.

“He introduced his ardour for folks, his humorousness, and his abiding religion in God to his work on daily basis — and he was a relentless advocate for many who wanted a voice, our pure sources, and the folks he represented.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in a press release stated: “Up till the very finish, Don was a fighter. Despite the fact that he battled most cancers and confronted different trials in recent times, he by no means misplaced his give attention to social and environmental justice. Tonight, Virginia has misplaced an amazing chief and I’ve misplaced an amazing pal.”


The Virginia statewide Democratic ticket of A. Donald McEachin, Mark Warner, and Tim Kaine greets supporters at a rally in Richmond on June 16,2001.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a former Richmond metropolis councilman and mayor, recalled first assembly McEachin in 1985 and attending a celebration for his marriage ceremony to Colette.

“Our children had been the identical age, we shared a statewide ticket with Mark Warner [in 2001], and we’ve been collectively within the Virginia federal delegation for years,” Kaine stated in a press release. “I used to be final with him on election evening three weeks in the past, celebrating his win.”


A. Donald McEachin

“He was a delicate large, a compassionate champion for underdogs, a local weather warrior, a Christian instance, an understanding dad, a proud husband, a loyal brother,” he stated.

“It’s with profound unhappiness that we be part of the folks of Virginia and the McEachin household in mourning the lack of our pricey pal and colleague, the honorable Congressman Donald McEachin. Congressman McEachin was a tireless advocate for the folks of Virginia and our nation. He devoted his life to advancing America’s working households, creating financial alternatives, and selling environmental justice for all. He leaves an unparalleled legacy of excellence and integrity, and we are going to honor that legacy with our continued dedication to the problems which he championed,” stated Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty, in a press release. 

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, a detailed political ally, stated known as McEachin “a progressive champion” and “a real public servant who, in illness or in well being over a 22-year profession, all the time put the folks first and by no means stopped working for and loving his group.”

“His imposing body was eclipsed solely by a basically type and beneficiant spirit, and the legacy of his many contributions to the welfare of this metropolis will dwell on.”