Virginia Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin died on Monday at the age of 61 following 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.
“We are all devastated at the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin,” Rountree wrote. “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.”
“Until a new representative is elected, our office will remain open and continue to serve our constituents. The family asks for privacy at this time. Arrangements will be announced over the next few days,” the statement continued.
McEachin was the third-ever African American to represent Virginia in the U.S. House.
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., released a statement Monday on McEachin’s death.
“Donald and Colette McEachin have been wonderful friends to me and Lisa for more than thirty years,” he wrote. “We often bonded over stories and laughs about our mutual challenges raising families with three strong-willed daughters,” Warner said. “Up until the very end, Don was a fighter. 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.”
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