Nov 30, 2022 - Politics

Tributes pour in after Rep. Donald McEachin's death

Photo: AP Photo/Steve Helber

From President Biden to Mayor Stoney, Rep. Don McEachin's death Monday set off a cascade of warm remembrances.

What they're saying: Many state and local officials called McEachin instrumental to launching their own political careers.

Del. Lamont Bagby, a Henrico Democrat whom McEachin endorsed during his first run for school board, called him a lifelong mentor.

  • "Words can't express the gratitude I have for this man," Bagby tweeted. "He took a chance on me. He was my first supporter. He gave me tough love. He gave me his listening ear. He gave me sound advice. He gave me opportunities."
  • "Sometimes he felt like a big brother, sometimes a father — not sure why he chose me but I'm grateful."

State Sen. Jennifer McClellan, who won McEachin's seat in the General Assembly after his election to Congress, recalled his encouraging presence. She called his death from colorectal cancer a shock.

  • "A lot of us believed he had beaten it, but I think in the end, he was just tired, more tired than we knew. I like to think that God needed another social justice warrior," she told WTVR.

What we're watching: There's no word yet on when a special election will be called to fill McEachin's seat, which is expected to touch off a game of musical chairs for Richmond-area Democrats.

  • "We will make decisions with regards to the special election," Gov. Youngkin told the Times-Dispatch. "Today, we're really focused on remembering the great contributions that [McEachin] made."
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