WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Many in Washington D.C. are mourning the loss of 61-year-old Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va).
“And he worked right up until the last day. His death was unexpected and he’ll be sorely missed,” Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) said.
There is a somber atmosphere around Capitol Hill, after lawmakers learned McEachin lost his battle to cancer.
“Donald was an amazing public servant,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.)
Kaine knew the Congressman for 37 years and called him a towering guy with a gentle soul.
“Firm when he needed to be, but kind and compassionate and a real heart for the underdog,” Kaine said.
Kaine said after years of working closely together, it’s a heavy loss. “We were on a state ticket together in 2001 with our friend Mark Warner, so we go back a long way.”
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) said it was clear McEachin put his district first.
“He had an outsized voice on some of the issues that certainly mattered most to his constituents,” Spanberger said.
Because of the impact McEachin had on Congress, she said it will be hard for anyone to fill his shoes.
“They sent a man to Congress who, among peers, was seen as a real leader,” Spanberger said.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she spoke to McEachin just last week.
“Right up until the end, he was advocating for the people of Virginia and for his district,” Pelosi said.
In addition to the condolences from lawmakers, President Joe Biden said in a statement “Through it all, Don always fought for the working people of Virginia. He never quit in his pursuit of Justice.”
His seat will now remain vacant until a special election is held.