Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin dies of cancer weeks after re-election to 4th term in Congress

Rep. Donald McEachin in 2021
Rep. Donald McEachin in 2021 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. A Donald McEachin (D-Va.) died Monday, his office announced, just weeks after being elected to a fourth term in Congress. He was 61 and had been "valiantly" battling colorectal cancer since 2013, his chief of staff, Tara Roundtree, said in a statement. "Tonight, he lost that battle."

McEachin was first elected to the Richmond-centered 4th Congressional District in 2016, after serving in both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates. McEachin was a Christian minister and lawyer who fought in Congress for environmental justice and policies to mitigate climate change.

Re-elected with 64 percent of the vote on Nov. 8, McEachin was one of 213 Democrats headed to the next Congress, where Republicans will hold a slim majority with at least 220 seats; two races are still uncalled. McEachin's district will vote for his replacement in a special election; Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) will chose the date.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) remembered McEachin as ""a tireless champion for Virginia families and a force for economic opportunity and environmental justice," while Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said his longtime friend "was a gentle giant, a compassionate champion for underdogs, a climate warrior, a Christian example, an understanding dad, a proud husband, a loyal brother."

"Up until the very end, Don McEachin was a fighter," said Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). "Even though he battled cancer and faced other trials in recent years, he never lost his focus on social and environmental justice. Tonight, Virginia has lost a great leader and I have lost a great friend."

McEachin leaves behind a wife, Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney Colette McEachin, and three adult children.

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