Cantor Loses GOP Primary in Virginia
Brat is a professor of economics and a novice in politics, but he grabbed onto the controversial issue of immigration when he accused Cantor, the GOP’s No. 2 in the Republican led House, of supporting legislation on immigration that would give a form of amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
Brat is a graduate of Princeton and teaches at the small liberal arts college Randolph-Macon College just to the north of Richmond. He attempted to downplay the Washington establishment vs. Tea Party narrative that the race took on.
He said the Tea Party support was good, but was focused as a candidate on the principles of the Republican Party including adherence to our Constitution and free markets.
Cantor conceded the primary defeat shortly after television had called the races, which confirmed the biggest to date upset in this year’s election primaries and a huge blow to the core GOP.
Cantor said he was disappointed, but believes in the U.S. and knows there is another opportunity around the next bend.
He thanked his campaign staffers, supporters and volunteers and called serving as a congressman for Virginia and as the majority leader one of his highest honors in life.
Brat earned 56% of the GOP vote, compared to just 44% by Cantor. More than 18,000 additional votes were cast this year than in the 2012 primary, when Cantor was able to easily defeat Floyd Bayne another challenger who was back by the Tea Party.
Over the last few weeks of the primary race, Brat attempted to tie Cantor’s support for legal status for those children who came illegally to the country to the hundreds of children from Mexico and Central America now pouring across the border illegally creating a huge humanitarian crisis.
Cantor had been once considered the next in line to run the House as Speaker. He fought back against Brat by saying he helped in blocking the plans by the Senate that would give undocumented immigrants amnesty.