Donald McEachin

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Donald McEachin
Donald McEachin portrait 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded byRandy Forbes
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 9th district
In office
January 9, 2008 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byBenjamin Lambert
Succeeded byJennifer McClellan
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 74th district
In office
January 11, 2006 – January 9, 2008
Preceded byFloyd Miles
Succeeded byJoe Morrissey
In office
January 10, 1996 – January 9, 2002
Preceded byRobert Ball
Succeeded byFloyd Miles
Personal details
Aston Donald McEachin

(1961-10-10) October 10, 1961 (age 59)
Nuremberg, West Germany (now Germany)
Political partyDemocratic
Colette McEachin
(m. 1986)
EducationAmerican University (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)
Virginia Union University (MDiv)
WebsiteHouse website

Aston Donald McEachin (/məˈkən/ mə-KEE-chən; born October 10, 1961) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the U.S. Representative for Virginia's 4th congressional district since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, his district is based in the state capital, Richmond; it includes most of the area between Richmond and Hampton Roads.

McEachin served twice in the Virginia House of Delegates, from 1996 to 2002 and 2006 to 2008. From 2008 to 2017, he served in the Senate of Virginia, representing the 9th district, made up of Charles City County, plus parts of Henrico County and the city of Richmond.[1][2] McEachin ran for Congress for the open seat of Virginia's 4th congressional district vacated by Republican Randy Forbes in 2016 and won the general election with 57.3% of the votes.[3] In 2001, he was the Democratic Party's nominee for Attorney General of Virginia, but he lost the election to Jerry Kilgore.

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

McEachin was born in Nuremberg, Germany, while his father was serving in the United States Army. He attended St. Christopher's School in Richmond. In 1982, he received a B.S. degree in political history from American University. After that, he attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he received a J.D. in 1986. He also received a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Virginia Union University in 2008.[1] In 2012 he was awarded honoris causa membership in Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.

He began to practice law in Richmond after completing law school, eventually becoming a partner in his own firm, McEachin and Gee.[4]

Virginia House of Delegates[edit]

McEachin was first elected to the House of Delegates from the 74th district in 1995. After three terms there, he ran for Attorney General of Virginia in 2001. He won a four-way Democratic primary with 33.6% of the vote,[5] but lost the general election to Republican nominee Jerry Kilgore by 20 percentage points.[6]

In 2005 he ran again for the 74th House district, defeating his predecessor, Floyd Miles, by 44 votes in the Democratic primary,[7] and winning the general election with 75% of the vote.[8]

Virginia Senate[edit]

In 2007, McEachin ran for the state Senate, challenging 9th district incumbent Benjamin Lambert, who drew criticism within the Democratic Party for his endorsement of Republican United States Senator George Allen in Allen's unsuccessful 2006 reelection campaign against Jim Webb.[9] After defeating Lambert 58%-42% in the primary,[10] McEachin won 81% of the vote against independent Silver Persinger in the general election.[11] He held the seat once held by future Governor L. Douglas Wilder.

He was unopposed for reelection in 2011.[12]

U.S. House of Representives[edit]

In 2019 Donald McEachin received national media attention [13] after suggesting Virginia Governor Ralph Northam send the Virginia National Guard to close down armories[14] and forcibly enact Dick Saslaw's proposed confiscatory[15] ban on commonly held rifles and handguns with standard capacity magazines in counties where local law enforcement refused.[16]

McEachin's threat to send troops to confiscate arms and close armories [17] came in response to the ratification of Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions in 91 out of 95 counties, 16 out of 38 independent cities, and 42 towns,[18] An estimated 44% of law abiding Virginians own firearms,[19] with so called "Assault Weapons" being overwhelmingly popular.[20]

Midway through his third term in the state senate, McEachin got an opportunity to transfer to federal politics. A federal court threw out Virginia's original congressional map as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. A new map saw all of Petersburg and most of the majority-black precincts in Henrico County shifted from the 3rd district to the 4th district. The 4th also picked up all of Richmond, which had previously been split between the 3rd and 7th districts. The 4th had been represented by Republican Randy Forbes since a 2001 special election, but the addition of these majority-black areas turned the 4th from a Republican-leaning swing district into a heavily Democratic district. Rather than face certain defeat in the redrawn 4th, Forbes made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination in the neighboring 2nd district. McEachin, whose then-home in unincorporated Henrico County lay just outside the redrawn 4th's boundaries, defeated Chesapeake City Councilwoman Ella Ward for the Democratic nomination. He then handily defeated Republican Henrico County Sheriff Mike Wade in the general election for the 4th district.

In 2020, McEachin received a progressive primary challenger, R. Cazel Levine, his first primary challenger. McEachin defeated Levin in the Democratic primary, and won re-election against Leon Benjamin in the 2020 general election.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

In 2019, his wife Colette became interim Commonwealth's Attorney for Richmond (having served in that office for 20 years),[23] won the Democratic nomination on August 10, 2019,[24] and was unopposed in the special election on November 5, 2019.[25] Her current term ends in 2021. They have three children.[4] Since 2017, the McEachins live in Richmond.

On August 25, 2015, McEachin's name was found on the list of users of the Ashley Madison website.[26] McEachin's response to the revelation was "At this time, this is a personal issue between my family and me. I will have no further statement on this issue.”[27]

In 2018, McEachin revealed that he had developed a fistula after completing treatment for rectal cancer in 2014, losing more than 60 pounds as a result. McEachin stated that he expected to fully recover from the condition.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Senator A. Donald McEachin; Democrat-District 9". Senate of Virginia. Archived from the original on 2013-01-09. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  2. ^ "Virginia House of Delegates; Session 2007; McEachin, A. Donald (Donald)". Virginia House of Delegates. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  3. ^ The New York Times (2016-11-09). "Virginia U.S. House 4th District Results: Donald McEachin Wins".
  4. ^ a b "Donald McEachin". Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  5. ^ "Commonwealth of Virginia; June 12, 2001 - Primary Election". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  6. ^ "Virginia Election Results". Washington Post. 2001-11-06.
  7. ^ "Commonwealth of Virginia; June 14, 2005 - Primary Election". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  8. ^ "Commonwealth of Virginia; November 8, 2005 - General Election". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  9. ^ "Allen endorsement dogs Lambert's re-election bid". The Washington Times. 2007-06-09. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  10. ^ "2007 June Democratic Primary Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2011-10-02. Retrieved 2009-01-25.
  11. ^ "November 6, 2007 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  12. ^ "November 2011 General Election Official Results". Virginia State Board of Elections. Archived from the original on 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  13. ^ "Virginia state reresentative suggests National Guard be called to force enforcement of new gun legislation". Newsweek. 2019-12-13. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  14. ^ Press, ALAN SUDERMAN, The Associated (2020-01-10). "Proposed bill would ban NRA's shooting range at headquarters in Virginia". WSET. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  15. ^ "LIS > Bill Tracking > SB16 > 2020 session". Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  16. ^ Contributor, TTAG (2020-01-13). "Virginia Sheriff Renews Promise to Deputize Citizens When New Gun Control Laws are Enacted [VIDEO]". The Truth About Guns. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  17. ^ "Battles of Lexington and Concord - Wikipedia". Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  18. ^ Stewart, Caleb. "Increasing number of Virginia counties declare themselves 'Second Amendment sanctuaries'". Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  19. ^ "Gun ownership by state". Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  20. ^ Association, National Rifle. "American Rifleman | Official Journal Of The NRA | 5 Best-Selling Rifles of 2019". American Rifleman | Official Journal Of The NRA. Retrieved 2021-06-17.
  21. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Archived from the original on February 8, 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  22. ^ "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  23. ^ "Collette Wallace McEachin, Deputy in Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, to Seek Democratic Nomination for Commonwealth's Attorney". Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  24. ^ "Colette McEachin wins Democratic nomination for Richmond commonwealth's attorney data". Retrieved 2019-08-11.
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Legislators' names appear in hacked Ashley Madison data". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  27. ^ "McEachin on link to Ashley Madison: 'This is a personal issue'". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  28. ^ Martz, Michael. "Slimmed-down McEachin dealing with non-life-threatening medical condition". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 10 February 2019.

External links[edit]

Virginia House of Delegates
Preceded by
Robert Ball
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 74th district

Succeeded by
Floyd Miles
Preceded by
Floyd Miles
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates
from the 74th district

Succeeded by
Joseph D. Morrissey
Senate of Virginia
Preceded by
Benjamin Lambert
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 9th district

Succeeded by
Jennifer McClellan
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Randy Forbes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 4th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Brian Mast
United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Stephanie Murphy