“The household and workers want to thank everybody for the outpouring of heartfelt needs and assist this week,” they mentioned in an announcement Wednesday. “We’re all nonetheless in shock; it was so sudden and unanticipated. The household is devastated, having misplaced their beloved husband, father and grandfather; the workers is mourning their chief; and numerous constituents have reached out to say how a lot they miss their Congressman.”
His household requested that, to honor McEachin’s reminiscence, individuals contemplate making donations to Virginia Union College’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Faculty of Theology, the place McEachin acquired his grasp of divinity diploma in 2008. “Thanks in your sympathy and kindness on this time of sorrow,” McEachin’s spouse, Colette McEachin, wrote on Fb. “We’re so deeply grateful.”
Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) is predicted to pick a date for a particular election to exchange McEachin, although he did not give a timeline when asked Tuesday about when he would make that call, saying now was a time to honor the late congressman.
The Virginia delegation memorialized McEachin on the Home flooring on Tuesday evening, as Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) led the Home in a second of silence, and on Wednesday Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) did the identical on the Senate flooring.
Kaine introduced with him a 21-year-old T-shirt that he discovered whereas cleansing out his closet over the Thanksgiving weekend: a Warner-Kaine-McEachin relic from their 2001 run on the statewide ticket collectively. That yr, McEachin turned the primary African American nominee of a serious social gathering for Virginia legal professional common, although he finally misplaced the race.
Simply days after he was reminiscing about their run, Kaine mentioned, “we bought the stunning information that Donald had handed away, in his sleep at dwelling in Richmond, and had been discovered by his spouse, Colette.”
Kaine met him after they had been of their 20s, when Kaine had simply moved to Richmond to take a job at a legislation agency in 1984 — the identical agency McEachin had as soon as labored for, main their paths to cross within the workplace.
All through their friendship, Kaine celebrated McEachin’s marriage ceremony to Colette, who’s now the Richmond commonwealth’s legal professional, and watched McEachin win “historic verdicts” as a trial lawyer earlier than turning to public service within the Nineteen Nineties, across the identical time Kaine did.
McEachin served in each the Virginia Home of Delegates and state Senate. And after he received his congressional race in 2016, it felt like they bought the “band” again collectively, Kaine mentioned, describing how their Warner-Kaine-McEachin ticket was reunited in Congress.
Warner referred to as McEachin a “mild big” with an “superb capability to instantly relate to individuals.” Describing his legacy, Warner, who had recognized McEachin since 1989, pointed to his work on environmental justice.
“He was passionate concerning the linkage between the necessity for us to scrub up our planet, but in addition to acknowledge the drawback that comes with air pollution and abuse oftentimes fell an excessive amount of on poor communities,” Warner mentioned.
The senators every mentioned that they had seen McEachin battle and alter as he battled most cancers — first in 2013 — and its aftereffects in newer years. He shuffled a bit when he walked. Generally he appeared to be doubled over in ache at his desk on the Home flooring. They noticed him “shrink earlier than our eyes” as his weight dropped drastically. However McEachin at all times mentioned he was on the mend, and earlier than he died was planning for his upcoming two-year time period.
“Now we have misplaced a fantastic pal, and I mentioned about Donald he’ll have a successor however he received’t have a substitute,” Kaine mentioned. Preventing tears, Kaine continued: “We bought the band again collectively in 2016, and I search for the day after we’ll get the band … again collectively once more.”