Just a few days ago, GOP Congressman Eric Cantor’s political future seemed bright, with many analysts predicting the House Majority Leader would eventually replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House. But late Tuesday night, Eric Cantor conceded defeat in his Republican primary battle against a virtually unknown Tea Party candidate, ending his quick rise to power in Washington, D.C.
When the votes were counted, it wasn’t even close. Eric Cantor lost the GOP primary in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District by 10 percentage points. Emerging victorious from the primary was college professor David Brat, who had run his campaign against Eric Cantor with little funding and almost no outside support. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called last night’s upset in Virginia “a scale eight earthquake,” adding that it would “shock the Washington establishment; it will shock the House Rerpublicans,” CNN notes.
Going into the race, Eric Cantor enjoyed broad political backing from prominent Republicans and ran a well-funded campaign. However, he angered many conservatives and Tea Party supporters by flirting with immigration reform, which many on the right have denounced as “amnesty.” Eric Cantor was targeted by conservative talk radio hosts including Laura Ingraham who backed David Brat. Read