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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

How The Death Of Congressman Donald McEachin Will Impact Virginia's District 4

His seat will remain vacant until a special election takes place.

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Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., speaks during a news conference at the House steps with members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on plans to address climate issues on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Rep. Donald McEachin, D-Va., speaks during a news conference at the House steps with members of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis on plans to address climate issues on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Photo: Tom Williams (AP)

On Monday, US Rep. Donald McEachin passed away. His office shared a statement honoring the Virginia Democrat who was 61 years old at the time of his death. “We are all devastated at the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin,” Tara Rountree, his chief of staff, explained.

“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,” Rountree stated.

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In 2016, McEachin was elected to Congress after working in both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly. McEachin represented Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, which includes Richmond (the state capital) to the North Carolina line.

With his passing, this means the seat will remain empty until a special election is held since someone cannot be appointed to the House. According to state law, the governor sets special elections to fill a U.S. House vacancy. However, there isn’t a certain deadline they must adhere to.

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McEachin was reelected earlier this month in an area that favors the Democratic party. Since he won his seat by a large margin, it is expected to stay blue. In addition, President Biden paid his respects on Tuesday after hearing about McEachin’s death.

Biden also shared that he will “always be grateful for his friendship, and his early and fierce support when [he] ran for President.” “He fought for justice, for civil rights, and for communities that are often left behind,” the president’s statement read.

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“Thanks to Don’s leadership and tireless advocacy, we passed historic legislation to combat the climate crisis and advance environmental justice.” McEachin leaves behind his wife, Colette, as well as three children.