Virginia Democrat Rep. McEachin dies at 61 after colon cancer battle

Virginia Democrat Rep. Donald McEachin died Monday night at age 61 from the secondary effects of a battle with colorectal cancer in 2013, according to a statement from his office. 

McEachin represented Virginia’s fourth district, and staffers said they would continue to work on behalf of the people there until a replacement for him can be elected.

“We are all devastated at the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin,” McEachin’s chief of staff Tara Rountree said. “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,” she added.

A long ordeal

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

McEachin had multiple surgeries in 2019 to deal with the effects of chemotherapy and radiation he received to fight the cancer.

He was absent from Washington for about three months at that time to recover.

McEachin was first elected to the House in 2016 and was re-elected in 2018 and 2020, and just weeks ago in 2022.

“Great sadness”

He he sat on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on Natural Resources and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, and was a member of the Black Caucus and centrist New Democrat Coalition.

McEachin had a law background and served on the Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate before being elected to the House.

His fellow House members on both sides of the political aisle offered their condolences to McEachin’s loved ones after getting the news that McEachin had died.

“It is with great sadness that I join Virginians tonight in mourning the loss of Congressman Donald McEachin: a tireless champion for Virginia families and a force for economic opportunity and environmental justice,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) wrote in a statement.