- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2007


Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald, California Democrat, died early yesterday of cancer, an aide said.

Mrs. Millender-McDonald, who was 68, died at her home in Carson, Calif., said her chief of staff, Bandele McQueen.

Mr. McQueen could provide no details on what form of cancer Mrs. Millender-McDonald had. He said she had been receiving hospice care.

The congresswoman had asked for a four-to-six-week leave of absence from the House last week to deal with her illness.

She was in her seventh term representing a heavily Democratic Southern California district that includes Compton, Long Beach and parts of Los Angeles.

This year Mrs. Millender-McDonald became chair of the Committee on House Administration, which oversees operations of the House and federal election procedures.

The congresswoman, a native of Birmingham, Ala., worked on former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s unsuccessful 1982 gubernatorial campaign and other local races as a volunteer before getting elected to the Carson City Council in 1990.

She went on to serve in the California state Assembly, and in 1996 sought a U.S. House seat during a special election to replace Rep. Walter Tucker III, who had been convicted of taking bribes while mayor of Compton, Calif., and of cheating on his taxes.

She won the special election, and in March beat out Mr. Tucker’s wife, Robin, in a primary that featured nine Democrats. She won a full House term in 1996 and has subsequently won re-election easily.

She is survived by her husband, James McDonald Jr., and five adult children.

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