‘Virginia has lost a great leader’: U.S. Rep. McEachin dies

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 10:15 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2022 at 10:25 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin died Monday at age 61.

McEachin, a three-time congressman, recently won re-election in the 4th District, which covers the city of Richmond, Henrico, parts of Chesterfield and the Tri-Cities.

“We don’t do this for glory or fame, we do this because we like service,” he said earlier this month.

Rep. Donald McEachin celebrated in early November as he was projected to win a fourth term...
Rep. Donald McEachin celebrated in early November as he was projected to win a fourth term representing Virginia's 4th District.(Source;NBC12 | NBC12)

“We are all devastated at the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin,” said Tara Rountree, McEachin’s chief of staff, in a statement on Monday. “Valiantly, for years now, we have watched him fight and triumph over the secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013. Tonight, he lost that battle, and the people of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District lost a hero who always, always fought for them and put them first.”

Rountree says the 4th District office will remain open until a new representative is elected.

“The family asks for privacy at this time,” she said. “Arrangements will be announced over the next few days.”

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, said Monday that McEachin and his wife, Colette, “have been wonderful friends” for more than 30 years.

“Up until the very end, Don was a fighter,” Warner said. “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.”

In 2019, McEachin took time away from Washington, D.C., as he recovered from surgeries. He vowed then to continue working for his constituents.

Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras said McEachin “was a dear friend” to the school system.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, said he “become fast friends” when he met McEachin in 1985.

“I was last with him on election night three weeks ago, celebrating his win. He was a gentle giant, a compassionate champion for underdogs, a climate warrior, a Christian example, an understanding dad, a proud husband, a loyal brother,” Kaine said in a statement.

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams from North Carolina posted on Twitter that McEachin “was a fighter for Virginia, and he wasn’t afraid to share stories of his personal fight with cancer so he could inspire others to get screened and see their doctor.”

Governor Youngkin posted on Twitter that McEachin was a valiant fighter until the end and said “He admirably served Virginia and worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his constituents and Americans.”

Members of Richmond City Council released a statement reflecting on McEachin’s legacy.

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