Cantor to resign as House Majority Leader in July after surprise upset

Rep. Eric Cantor will relinquish his leadership position as the No. 2 House Republican on July 31 after suffering a stunning loss in his primary race in Virginia.

“While I intend to serve out my term… effective July 31, I will be stepping down as majority leader,” Cantor said. “It is with great humility that I do so knowing the tremendous honor it has been to hold this position.”

Eric antor loser sign

An Eric Cantor campaign in Carytown sign spray-painted with “loser” a day after the House Majority Leader’s unexpected loss. (SOURCE: Joe St. George)

Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, lost his primary to a college professor and political neophyte. Cantor, House Majority Leader, was running for an eighth term in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, against Tea-Party backed economics professor David Brat.

In a year when mainstream Republicans have mostly bested tea party-backed challengers, a little-known and little-funded tea party challenger in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District pulled the upset of the year, defeating Cantor by 10 percentage points.

The victory by economics professor Dave Brat gives the tea party an instant jolt of energy, sends shock waves through Capitol Hill, shakes up the GOP House hierarchy — as Cantor was seen by many as the next Speaker — and effectively kills any chance of immigration reform passing through the House any time soon.

Cantor has only faced a primary opponent twice before, and he was a favorite among Tea Partiers in 2010. Cantor conceded the race with 97% of precincts reporting from the Richmond-area district. Cantor trailed David Brat 55% to 44%, according to the State Board of Election’s website. Turnout was low. 

Cantor Loss MapBrat’s victory came as a surprise for many reasons. One is that a candidate hasn’t beaten a majority leader in a century — since 1899.  Also, Cantor raised  five million more than Brat. Election data shows that Brat raised $206,663, compared to Cantor’s $5,447,290.

Brat won Goochland County, Hanover County, Henrico County, Louisa County, New Kent County, and Chesterfield County. Cantor won Richmond City, Spotsylvania County, Orange County, and Culpeper County–by 57 votes.

“Richmond, Virginia is a special place that I’ve called home for all my life,” Eric Cantor said Wednesday. “I encourage everyone to visit soon.”

Depend on CBS 6 News and WTVR.com for complete coverage of this developing story.  CNN contributed to this report. 

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10 comments

    • manalishi

      I hope it’s a great start to the impeachment and imprisonment of Barry Soertoro and every other parasitic democrat that’s bent on bankrupting this country’s working class.

      • manalishi

        Really Einstein?? Unlike democrats, conservatives will call out, shame and vote out traitors. Democrats just do what their master commands in exchange for cash or freebies.

  • John Compton

    Dave Brat, was NOT backed by the Tea Party. They refused because he was not expected to win, now they act like it was all their idea, or at least the MSM is portraying it that way.

    • Ron Melancon

      Good point he was backed by ordinary nobody’s basic Gradma and grandpa along with dads and moms and sons and daughters this event was not only tea party people it was as basic as apple pie and hot dogs!

  • Ron Melancon

    Congressman Cantor did not listen to us. And yes I became a foot solider against him because he ignored a mother who lost her daughter by a loose trailer. I also believe that he may have used local visitors to influence us to give up saving lives. We did this with no violence, no threats, no damage and we only voted! Exactly what can Henrico law find wrong with what they did? Are they going to keep Harass ing us?

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