By Brad Friedman on 4/22/2007, 2:23pm PT  


Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)
1938 - 2007

The announcement of the sudden passing of the Congresswoman from California's 37th district today comes as both a surprise and a tragic loss. She was the first African-American woman to chair the important U.S. House Administration Committee, having taken the chair for the first time this past January in the 110th Congress. It had previously been held by Vern Ehlers (R-MI) who had taken over from Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) after he stepped down in the wake of his Abramoff-related corruption charges.

We covered the announcement of her cancer diagnosis and subsequent request for a temporary leave of absence last week from her post as chair of the committee which is currently overseeing the scheduled mark-up of Rep. Rush Holt's Election Reform bill (HR811). Our coverage last week described who might take over the committee in her absence.

Both The Hill and AP have additional details on Millender-McDonald's passing.