|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Virginia's 4th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Randy Forbes|
|Member of the Virginia Senate|
from the 9th district
January 9, 2008 – January 3, 2017
|Preceded by||Benjamin Lambert|
|Succeeded by||Jennifer McClellan|
|Member of the Virginia House of Delegates|
from the 74th district
January 11, 2006 – January 9, 2008
|Preceded by||Floyd Miles|
|Succeeded by||Joe Morrissey|
January 10, 1996 – January 9, 2002
|Preceded by||Robert Ball|
|Succeeded by||Floyd Miles|
Aston Donald McEachin
October 10, 1961
Nuremberg, West Germany (now Germany)
|Education||American University (BA)|
University of Virginia (JD)
Virginia Union University (M.Div.)
Aston Donald McEachin (// 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.[update] 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. In 2001, he was the Democratic Party's nominee for Attorney General of Virginia, but he lost the election to Jerry Kilgore.
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. 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.
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, but lost the general election to Republican nominee Jerry Kilgore by 20 percentage points.
In 2005 he ran again for the 74th House district, defeating his predecessor, Floyd Miles, by 44 votes in the Democratic primary, and winning the general election with 75% of the vote.
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. After defeating Lambert 58%-42% in the primary, McEachin won 81% of the vote against independent Silver Persinger in the general election. He held the seat once held by future Governor L. Douglas Wilder.
He was unopposed for reelection in 2011.
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 December 2019, McEachin received national media attention after suggesting Virginia Governor Ralph Northam use the Virginia National Guard to enforce gun control laws in the state.
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.
In 2019, his wife Colette became interim Commonwealth's Attorney for Richmond (having served in that office for 20 years), won the Democratic nomination on August 10, 2019, and was unopposed in the special election on November 5, 2019. Her current term ends in 2021. They have three children. 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. 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.”
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.