Only a few weeks after gaining reelection to Congress, Donald McEachin (D-Va.) passed away on Monday, according to his office. He was 61.
Since 2017, McEachin had served as a representative for the 4th District of Virginia, which runs from Richmond to the North Carolina border. He had previously served for eight years as a delegate and nine years as a state senator.
Congressman Donald McEachin passed away on Monday night, and his chief of staff, Tara Rountree, released a statement saying, “We are all grieved at his departure. “For years, we have watched him valiantly battle and overcome the side effects of his colon cancer diagnosis in 2013. He lost that conflict tonight, and the residents of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District mourned the loss of a legend.
Donald McEachin Was The Third African American
McEachin, a preacher and attorney, lost to Republican Jerry Kilgore in the Democratic primary for Texas attorney general in 2001. As the first African American to be nominated for that position, state senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) recalled “watching him make history.” He was just the third African American elected to the U.S. House to represent Virginia.
Even though McEachin’s health issues had been well known for a while, many people were nevertheless shocked when he passed away.
Lucas wrote, “Hearing the news of his death sent a jolt of sadness through me tonight.
Even as recently as two weeks ago, McEachin spoke openly about his battle with cancer. McEachin emphasised to the audience “the importance of early detection” and urged regular exams at a crowded movie theatre hosting a “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” viewing party, as WTVR reported at the event. “Stop playing around. Do not experience my path, McEachin said. “Visit a doctor.”
McEachin blamed problems from his cancer treatment and weekly miles-long walks around the Capitol for his remarkable weight loss in 2018. He endured two surgeries the following year as a result of developing a fistula, which his doctor described as “an improper connection between the bladder and colon” to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. That year, a blood clot also required hospitalisation for him.
He Lose 60 Pounds
McEachin, though, informed the Times-Dispatch in 2020 that he had overcome the health issues that had at one point forced him to lose 60 pounds from his 6-foot-5 frame.
A “Star Trek aficionado” who is “at once silly and smart,” the newly elected congressman was described in 2016 as such. McEachin, an Army brat from Germany, first studied political science at American University before going on to the University of Virginia to get his law degree. The Commonwealth’s attorney for Richmond is his wife, Colette McEachin. They have three adult children as their offspring.
Both this year and in 2020, Republican Leon Benjamin, who is also a clergyman, ran against McEachin. With about 65% of the vote, the Democrat won this year.