According to Republican officials, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor intends to resign his leadership post by the end of July after losing Virginia primary election Tuesday night in a major upset.
Eric Cantor, who became the first House Majority Leader to ever lose a re-election, plans to step down from his leadership position by the end of July, according to the Washington Post.
The Post, citing “three Republicans familiar with his plans,” said that Eric Cantor will officially announce his plans later Wednesday at a meeting with colleagues.
On the morning after his loss to David Brat, an economics professor supported by the tea party, there had been quiet pressure on Eric Cantor to step down from his post as the Republicans’ second-ranking leader.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor intends to resign his leadership post by the end of July after losing Virginia primary election
Others did not wait for him to make his intentions known.
Representative Kevin McCarthy of California was informing fellow Republicans he intended to run to succeed Eric Cantor, officials said, and Representative Pete Sessions of Texas also signaled an interest.
Representative Steve Scalise was hoping to replace Kevin McCarthy in his current spot, officials said.
Eric Cantor’s defeat was the first primary setback for a senior leader in Congress in recent years. Former House Speaker Thomas Foley of Washington and Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota both lost their seats at the polls in the past two decades, but they fell to Republicans, not to challengers from within their own parties.
The outcome may well mark the end of Eric Cantor’s political career, although at 51 he has plenty of time to attempt a future comeback.
David Brat is the tea party’s new star after defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the biggest primary upset in recent memory.
David Brat, born on July 27 1964, gained a Ph.D. in economics at the American University in Washington, D.C., before going on to work as an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, a liberal arts college north of Richmond, Virginia.
So dedicated is he to his profession that he canceled a packed schedule of meetings with key conservative activists in May because he had papers to grade.
“He had school stuff to take care of,” his 23-year-old campaign manager Zachary Werrell told the Washington Post. His Democrat challenger in the staunch-Republican district is Jack Trammell, also a professor at Randolph-Macon.
David Brat is the tea party’s new star after defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the biggest primary upset in recent memory
Before obtaining his economics doctorate, David Brat, a Catholic, received a Masters in Divinity at Princeton, a course designed to “prepare students for the parish ministry [and] mission work at home and abroad,” according its website.
He is anti-abortion and says he will always uphold laws to protect human life. These laws, he says, “come from God, the Author of Nature.”
Originally from Alma, Michigan, David Brat moved to Virginia in 1996 with his wife, Laura.
David Brat attended Hope College in Michigan and received a B.A. in Business Administration in 1986; he also graduated with a Master’s degree in Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1990 and earned a PhD in economics from American University in 1995.
After working for Arthur Andersen and as a consultant for the World Bank, David Brat became a professor at Randolph–Macon College (RMC) in 1996.
His published papers include God and Advanced Mammon: Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism? and An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.
David Brat is a Roman Catholic and is a parishioner of St. Mary Catholic Church in Richmond with his wife and their two children.
Eric Cantor has lost a Virginia Republican Party primary election to David Brat, a challenger from the hard-right Tea Party movement.
Little-known economics professor David Brat defeated the second-ranking House of Representatives member 56%-44%.
David Brat’s shock victory exposed conservative dissatisfaction with Eric Cantor, who was first elected in 2000.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had been widely favored to win, having raising significantly more money than David Brat.
Eric Cantor has lost a Virginia Republican Party primary election to David Brat (photo Reuters)
David Brat attacked Eric Cantor’s record, including his support for some immigration reforms, and rallied enthusiastic members of the anti-tax, conservative populist Tea Party movement in the low-turnout race.
In a forewarning of trouble, last month Eric Cantor was booed at a meeting of Republican activists after a local party chairman whom he supported was removed in favor of a Tea Party candidate.
A lawyer, Eric Cantor, 51, was first elected to Congress in 2000 after serving nine years in the Virginia House of Delegates.
After the Tea Party emerged in 2009, he forged ties with the loose-knit movement, drawing on its support to help the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives the following year.
Eric Cantor was seen as representing a more conservative counterweight to House Speaker John Boehner, seen by some in the Tea Party as too conciliatory to Democratic President Barack Obama.
He was even viewed by some as possible successor to John Boehner.
David Brat will now face Democratic nominee Jack Trammell – also a professor at Randolph-Macon College – in this fall’s general election.