Virginia Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin died Monday at the age of 61 after a battle with colorectal cancer.
McEachin was first elected to Congress in 2016, serving Virginia’s 4th District. He was re-elected to the House for a fourth term earlier this month.
The congressman’s chief of staff, Tara Rountree, released a statement Monday night announcing McEachin’s passing.
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“We are all devastated by the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin,” Rountree wrote. “Bravely, for years, we have watched him fight and triumph over the side effects of his 2013 colorectal cancer. 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.”
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“Until a new representative is elected, our office will remain open and continue to serve our constituents. The family requests privacy at this time. The arrangements will be announced in the coming days,” the statement continued.
McEachin was the third African American to represent Virginia in the United States House of Representatives.
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US Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., issued a statement Monday about McEachin’s death.
“Donald and Colette McEachin have been wonderful friends to me and Lisa for over thirty years,” he wrote. “We often bond through stories and laughter about our mutual challenges raising families with three strong-willed daughters,” Warner said. “Until the end, Don was a fighter. Although 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.”