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Rep. McEachin remains hospitalized following surgery

Rep.  A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.)  speaks in Richmond in June.
Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) speaks in Richmond in June. (Julia Rendleman/for The Washington Post)

Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) is in the hospital recovering from two surgeries to address a condition that is not considered to be life-threatening, his spokeswoman said.

The two-term congressman from the Richmond area missed more than a dozen votes this week, including ones to ban offshore oil and gas drilling, which is one of his top priorities.

“The Congressman is currently recovering from surgery and subsequently has had to miss votes,” his spokeswoman, Ariana Valderrama, said in a statement.

“He is eager to return to Washington, D.C. and remains in constant contact with his staff for legislative and district updates.”

She declined to explain the purpose of the surgeries, which she said took place on Aug. 15 and Aug. 29. He did not return to Washington with fellow lawmakers on Monday at the end of the August recess.

McEachin, 57, an attorney and former state senator, has been hounded for years by health problems related to a 2014 bout with rectal cancer.

In 2018, he attributed a dramatic weight loss to complications from his cancer treatment and walking miles around the Capitol every week.

He said he had developed a fistula, which his doctor described to the Richmond Times-Dispatch as “an abnormal connection between the bladder and colon.”

He was also hospitalized in April because of a blood clot.

Tiny office, minority party and little power? It’s all terrific to Va. representative-elect

Despite his absence, McEachin’s staff on Wednesday introduced legislation to expand solar energy access to low-income families, the first bill from the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force that he co-founded.

The third-ever African American to represent Virginia in the U.S. House, McEachin was elected in 2016, from a district that runs from Richmond and its suburbs south to rural counties along the North Carolina border. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates and in the state Senate before getting elected to Congress.

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