(Bloomberg) -- Representative Donald McEachin, a Virginia Democrat, died on Monday night, according to his office.

“For years now, we have watched him fight and triumph over the secondary effects of his colorectal cancer from 2013,” his chief of staff, Tara Rountree, said in a statement. “Tonight, he lost that battle.”

First elected in 2016, McEachin’s district includes the state capitol, Richmond, and extends east toward Chesapeake Bay. On Nov. 8, he easily defeated his Republican challenger, Leon Benjamin.

Born in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1961, where his father served in the U.S. military, McEachin graduated from American University and received a law degree from the University of Virginia. He also had a graduate degree in divinity from Virginia Union University, according to his congressional biography. 

He practiced law for many years, and co-founded a firm in 1990. He and his wife, Colette, had three children. In Congress, he served on the Committee on the Climate Crisis.

Senator Tim Kaine, Virginia’s junior senator, said in a statement late Monday night that he had known McEachin since 1985. 

“I was last with him on election night three weeks ago, celebrating his win,” Kaine said. “He was a gentle giant, a compassionate champion for underdogs, a climate warrior, a Christian example.”   

Before being elected to Congress, he served in Virginia’s House of Delegates and the state Senate.

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