House

Pelosi orders Capitol flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Rep. Donald McEachin

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) ordered flags at the Capitol to be flown at half staff to honor Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), who died Monday night after a long battle with cancer.

“Speaker Pelosi has ordered the flags at the U.S. Capitol to be flown at half-staff due to the passing of Congressman Donald McEachin of Virginia,” Pelosi’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill, wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.

Flags at the White House will also be flown at half-staff on Tuesday in memory of McEachin, according to the White House.

McEachin, 61, who represented Virginia’s 4th Congressional District, died after experiencing “secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013,” according to his chief of staff. The Virginia Democrat had served in the House since 2017.

“We are all devastated at the passing of our boss and friend, Congressman Donald McEachin,” the congressman’s chief of staff, Tara Rountree, said in a statement.

“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,” she added.

The congressman had two surgeries in August 2019 after “ongoing complications” connected to the treatment he received for his cancer, according to ABC 8News. Recovery from the operations kept him outside of Washington for about three months, the Virginia Mercury reported.

Before serving in Congress, McEachin spent time as a member of Virginia’s state Senate and House of Delegates. He made history in 2001 when he became the first African American nominee for attorney general of a major party in the Old Dominion. He ultimately lost the race to his Republican opponent.

Pelosi mourned McEachin’s loss Monday night, calling him “a tireless champion for Virginia families and a force for economic opportunity and environmental justice.”

“Congressman McEachin understood that every family — whether in the East End of Richmond or any community across America — deserves clean air, clean water and a healthy planet,” she said in a statement. “He will be deeply missed by his colleagues, and he leaves behind a legacy that will improve the lives of all of our children for generations to come.”

The condolences for McEachin were bipartisan and bicameral.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) called the late congressman “a gentle giant, a compassionate champion for underdogs, a climate warrior, a Christian example, an understanding dad, a proud husband, a loyal brother,” and Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) said McEachin “was always a friend to me and a gentleman to all.”

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) — who called McEachin a friend, colleague and mentor — said “he was a good man who endeavored to make others feel important and heard whether in the courtroom, the General Assembly, the U.S. Congress, or simply in a quiet moment.”

“Congressman McEachin’s passing leaves a deep void here in Virginia. But his example of leadership, his generosity of spirit, and his commitment to doing right in the world and rectifying injustices will endure for everyone whose lives he has touched, including mine,” she added.

–Updated at 10:29 a.m.

Tags Congress Half staff McEachin Nancy Pelosi Pelosi Speaker Tim Kaine
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