What the death of Virginia Rep. Donald McEachin means for the new Congress
With the death of Virginia Democratic Representative Donald McEachin, the new Congress will begin with a vacancy until a special election is held to fill that seat.
A reminder: you cannot be appointed to the House.
McEachin’s untimely death doesn’t give House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., a leeway in his quest to become president. The new Congress will start with 434 members. The magic number for McCarthy remains 218, an absolute majority of the entire body.
McEachin becomes the seventh member elected to the 118th Congress to die.
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Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, R-La., died before taking office in late 2020, just after the election.
The following members have also died:
late Reps. Ron Wright, R-Texas, Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., Jim Hagedorn, R-Minn., Don Young, R-Alaska, Jackie Walorski, R-Ind. and McEachin.
MP McEachin died on Monday aged 61 after 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, issued a statement Monday night announcing McEachin’s death.
“We are all devastated by the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin,” Rountree wrote. “Bravely, for years, we have watched him fight and triumph over the side effects of his 2013 colorectal cancer. Tonight, he lost that battle and the people of Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District lost a hero who always, always he fought for them. and put them first.”
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The statement continued: “Until a new representative is chosen, our office will remain open and continue to serve our constituents. The family requests privacy at this time. Arrangements will be announced in the coming days.”
McEachin was the third African-American to represent Virginia in the United States House.
Landon Mion of Fox News contributed to this report.