Virginia Rep. McEachin’s Death Leaves Congress Here As New Congress Begins

Virginia Democratic U.S. House Representative Donald McEachin’s death Monday will leave a seat vacant when the new Congress begins. McEachin passed Monday at the age of 61 following a battle with colorectal cancer. No one can be appointed to his seat, so there will be a special election to fill it after the 118th congress begins. McEachin’s death makes him the 7th member-elect of the 118th Congress to die. Following the deaths of Representatives Ron Wright, R-Texas, Alcee Hastings, D-Florida, Jim Hagedorn, R-Minnesota, Don Young, R-Alaska, Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana, and Representative-elect Luke Letlow, R-Louisiana who died just after he was elected in 2020 and just before taking office.

Congressman McEachin was first elected in 2016, where he served Virginia’s 4th District and had been re-elected to his fourth term early this month. He was also the third-ever African American to represent Virginia in the U.S. House. His chief of staff, Tara Rountree, released a statement Monday night following the Congressman’s death stating the following according to Fox News:

“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.”

McEachin’s death however doesn’t change the standings with the House majority as Republicans are holding the majority with 220 seats, against the Democrats who currently are set with 213 seats.

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