House Majority Leader Eric Cantor loses GOP primary in stunning upset
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) will not be-relected this year after losing to Tea Party-backed challenger David Brat in the Republican primary race for Virginia’s 7th congressional district, the Associated Press reported Tuesday night.
Cantor had been expected to defeat Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. Instead, with 86 percent of precincts reporting, Brat amassed 56 percent of the vote, putting him 12 points ahead of Cantor.
The Washington Post reported that Brat will face off with another Randolph-Macon professor, Jack Trammell, in the November election.
Roll Call reported that Cantor raised more money than Brat by a substantial margin, gathering $5.44 million in his effort to fend off the challenger, who raised $207,000.
But as PBS reported on Monday, Brat undermined Cantor in the eyes of fellow conservatives by criticizing his stated willingness to work with President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party on immigration reform. Brat outpolled Cantor by 40 points among Republicans in the district at a GOP gathering last month.
Brat painted the bipartisan Senate plan that passed last year as a move toward “amnesty,” even after it stalled in the House. Cantor and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) indicated support toward passing new immigration laws using “a step-by-step approach.”
“I’m shocked. I’m just shocked,” former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) told Roll Call. “Obviously, it throws leadership into turmoil, it obviously shakes up the party in Virginia.”
Editor’s note, 8:39 p.m.: The story has been corrected to reflect Jack Trammell’s candidacy.
[Image via Fox News]