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Friday, January 27, 2023
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Recently Re-Elected House Dem. Dies of Cancer

'Tonight, Virginia has lost a great leader and I have lost a great friend...'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Democratic Representative Donald McEachin, who represented Virigina’s 4th Congressional District since 2017, passed away after a struggle with colorectal cancer.

McEachin, 61, experienced “secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013,” according to his chief of staff, Tara Rountree.

“We are all devastated at the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin,” Rountree said.

“Valiantly, for years now, we have watched him fight and triumph over the secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013.”

According to The Hill, the representative underwent two surgeries in 2019 in order to address complications after chemotherapy and radiation.

McEachin was recently re-elected in the midterms with roughly 64% of the vote.

Although his minority-heavy district covering parts of Richmond and Petersburg is considered a safe blue seat, McEachin’s passing may change the calculus slightly at the start of the upcoming GOP-led session of Congress giving Democrats less leverage in contentious floor votes such as the selection of the next House speaker.

It is unclear whether his absence might also affect the current lame-duck session. Several turnkey votes are approaching, such as the potential granting of citizenship for DACA beneficiaries and additional funding for Ukrainian defense measures.

The Democrat lawmaker has served in politics for a few decades, first on the state Senate, then in the House of Delegates.

In his time as a congressman, McEachin served on several committees such as the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Natural Resources Committee and Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

He was also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and New Democrat Coalition.

McEachin is the fourth House lawmaker to die this year while serving in office.

Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., died in a car accident over the summer; Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, died in March; and Rep. Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn., died of kidney cancer in February.

News of his death was met with bipartisan condolences.

“It is with sadness that I would like to express my condolences to the McEachin family at the passing of my colleague, Rep. Donald McEachin,” Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., posted on Twitter. “I am grateful for the kindness he showed me during the two years we served together. My prayers are with his family.”

 

Sena. Mark Warner, D-Va., called McEachin “a fighter,” both through is cancer and for the Virginians he served.

“Tonight, Virginia has lost a great leader and I have lost a great friend,” he added.

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