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Monday, October 24, 2016

In one of the most shocking political upsets in recent memory, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has lost his re-election bid to conservative challenger David Brat.

Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, defeated the incumbent Cantor by a stunning 55 to 44 percent margin.

The Associated Press called the election for Brat just after 8pm EST. Cantor addressed his supporters shortly thereafter.

“Serving as the 7th district congressman, and then having the privilege to be majority leader has been one of the highest honors of my life,” Cantor said while conceding the race.

“I know there are a lot of long faces here tonight, and it’s disappointing, sure. But I believe in this country. I believe there’s opportunity around the next corner for all of us,” he added. “So I look forward to continuing to fight with all of you for the things that we believe in for the conservative cause.”

Cantor, the top deputy to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), never saw the upset coming.

“We’re feeling really good about where we are and looking for a big win Tuesday,” Cantor told The Hill on Thursday.

“I’m just not worried,” his political advisor, Ray Allen, added.

Their confidence wasn’t entirely without merit; Cantor dramatically outspent Brat throughout the race, and internal polling released by the Cantor campaign on Friday showed the majority leader ahead of his little-known challenger by 34 points. But on Election Day, Brat — who attacked Cantor throughout the campaign as a Washington insider who isn’t conservative enough, especially on immigration — prevailed comfortably.

Brat will face Democratic nominee Jack Trammell in the general election. Democrats were quick to claim that the race will be another matchup between the Tea Party and the mainstream.

“Tonight’s result in Virginia settles the debate once and for all — the Tea Party has taken control of the Republican Party. Period,” Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “When Eric Cantor, who time and again has blocked common-sense legislation to grow the middle class, can’t earn the Republican nomination, it’s clear the GOP has redefined ‘far right.’ Democrats on the other hand have nominated a mainstream candidate who will proudly represent this district and I look forward to his victory in November.”

This story has been updated

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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  • charleo1

    There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth in Hell tonight. As one of the smarmiest, boot licking-est, and just generally obnoxious politicians in Congress, is sent packing. I’m sure John Boehner is really torn up about it. And open primaries are the bomb!!! I wish I lived in Virginia’s 7th, so I could have been a part of it!

    • Dominick Vila

      The real issue for me is not Cantor, but the radicalism of so many voters. Can you imagine how far to the right these people are when a conservative like Cantor is regarded as not conservative enough? What kind of people are they planning to send to Congress? Executioners?

      • charleo1

        I cannot imagine. Perhaps they’ll get some news people over there, and do some man on the street stuff. I want the Nation to hear them! Oh, we want to help the people of NY, and NJ. And will, just as soon as we can get the Democrats to agree to offsets for the money. When a guy after a major, major hurricane has the temerity to get in front of a microphone, and make such a statement. And I went through Andrew, so I know what these storms do. Then he’s defeated for being too Liberal? Executioners would be a fine guess.

      • CPAinNewYork

        If it gets rid of the illegals, employment of “executioners” may be a viable solution.

        Their very presence is an insult to the United States. I don’t like the conservative agenda, but I’m increasingly incensed at the presence of the illegals and the advocacy groups that support them.

  • Lynda Groom

    Good for the nation, but certainly not great for the district. Having ones representative ranked number two in Congress brings back a lot of bacon. The new man/woman (?) will be at the bottom on the list in Congress and assigned the committees nobody’s ever heard of. Cantor was just a shill and forgot that all politics are local. If the locals have gone off the rails you have to drive the train or get off. He did neither and they dumped him. There is a lesson there for all the other useless members of our do-nothing Congress…if they are smart enought to see it. Thats the question.

    • Independent1

      Lynda, I sure wish this was an opportunity for the Dems to pick up a seat in the House given that Brat is a newbie; but I’m sure not counting on that happening. I think the only hope we have, is that Brat may be so far right of Cantor (I wasn’t sure that was possible) that in the next few months he may actually turn off even some Republicans in the 7th district. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.

      • FT66

        Unfortunately, Brat is a well-educated person. I watched him talking while giving his victory speech. He is not a kind of crazy teabaggers we know. He really chooses his words carefully.

        • charleo1

          Once a well educated person, yes. An economics professor, turned T-Party, that claims allowing the Nation to go into default on it’s debt, by not raising the debt ceiling, would be a good thing! According to Mother Jones, he just don’t buy into all this debt ceiling V. default, stuff. So there’s that. My theory is, before one may anointed with true T-Party bonafides. One must put on one of those brain wave transfer caps with Michelle Bachmann. I cannot prove this, by any means other than observation. But the initiation process must first somehow empty out all of the enrollee’s common sense into a small circular container, about the size of a thimble. Then, the pure Bachman is pumped in. Like they pump in concrete when building a parking garage. Then, they are ready for their first appearance on Fox and Friends.

          • Mark Forsyth

            That thimble has a lot of room in it.

          • charleo1

            You’re right, there would be a lot of wasted room
            in a thimble. How about Olive Oil’s bra cup?

          • Mark Forsyth

            Olive Oil wears a bra? What for? She has no more use for it than the T poopers have for a thimble,nothing to occupy either space.

          • StefanaRapsondeu

            before I looked at the check of $8543 , I accept
            …that…my neighbour woz like they say truley earning money parttime on their
            apple labtop. . there sisters neighbour has done this 4 only 19 months and by
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        • jmprint

          Yea, they all drink from the same tea cup.

    • Dominick Vila

      This may be a blessing in disguise for Democrats. When a solid conservative is defeated by someone, largely on a single issue (Cantor’s decision to support President Obama’s immigration reform efforts), people of all ideological persuasions are likely to pay attention to the radicalism of segments of our population, are likely to be energized, and are likely to vote to stop the spread of extremism in the United States.
      I disagreed with most of Cantor’s proposals and positions, but he was a pragmatic and highly qualified politician. His defeat is a major blow to the GOP, not only because it confirms the strength of Tea Party support, but because it deprived the party of one of its most competent members.

      • charleo1

        Always clear headed Dom. Personally, I would replace your word for Cantor, “competent,” with slick, wily, or duplicitous. And still falling short of straddling the divide between the two sides of the same fraudulent coin. One side that takes great care to attempt to morally justify the morally unjustifiable. The other, completely morally corrupt, proud of it, and suspicious of anyone that’s not. This does present the GOP with a huge problem. Because I do not see the Democrat winning in that district. So, this will not be a, “Lugar, Murdoch,” teachable admonition, in radical overreach. And just might be the political equivalent of the Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination, or the attack on Ft. Sumter. And this will all lead to unavoidable to harm for the Country. Eventually that, causing the demise of the GOP as we know it. That’s my concern here. That’s if the old bulls can’t somehow head off the stampede this may cause in mass, within the ranks. Boehner’s retirement after Nov. would be be the first indication of their failure to do so. And his replacement will be the indicator of how just badly they’ve failed in their efforts to hold off the T-Party. I believe if they fail, the T-Party will divide the Nation, just as they’ve divided the GOP. Thereby forcing much of their agenda on the Country by default, and obstruction. (They will not win the Presidency) Their policies, upon taking control of the former Party’s apparatus, will of course, be horrible failures, over the next several decades. The people will eventually throw them out. But what is left to rebuild in their wake could be unimaginable in it’s scope.

        • Dominick Vila

          You are correct, a Democrat and, obviously, center-right conservatives, don’t have a chance in Cantor’s old district. However, Cantor’s defeat by a man whose proposals range from defaulting on the national debt to rejecting any attempt to solve our immigration law problems, are likely to resonate throughout the country, and may motivate complacent Democrats to vote in November. The upcoming election is going to be difficult for Democrats. We need all the help we can get to have a chance to keep control of the Senate, and events like this are bound to help. At least, I hope so.

          • charleo1

            That is my upside hope as well. A person very familiar with Virginia politics, sorry can’t produce his name at this moment. Characterized the district as 57.7% Conservative. With less than a 100,000 voter turnout in an open primary, giving us this result yesterday. There is much I don’t know about this district, Like the total number of voters. Which could be a game changer, if this David Brat, fellow, which no one seems to know too much about about, really smells the joint up? And his rethoric on immigration is completely unpalatable to most Republicans, Just not
            in the South, or heavily gerrymandered districts like
            the 7th. I’m there with you, Dom!

      • Chas1356

        Dominick …. Eric Cantor was not a solid conservative as you hope the rest of us will believe. Cantor slowly but surely cast off the conservative values and veils he wore in favor of Amnesty for Illegal Aliens.

        Cantor betrayed the trust of the conservatives in his CD. They believed in him when he said he would represent their values in Congress, but he abandoned them and crossed over the street to be buddies with the rotten Democrats. This is why he was defeated.

        His defeat is not a major blow to the GOP. It was a wake-up call that has already made the GOP Caucus fear the power of the electorate. Cantor forgot the old adage…” I’m going home with the person who brought me to the dance”.

        • Dominick Vila

          Eric Cantor is a conservative on fiscal and social matters. The fact that he understands the need for immigration reform has absolutely nothing to do with with conservatism. Understand the need to solve the illegal immigration problem by modifying the existing immigration laws is political pragmatism and logic. Amnesties, such as Reagan’s in 1986, simply prolong a problem and pass the buck to someone else.

          • Chas1356

            Dominic..I’ll have to disagree again. “Immigration Reform” as you call it is at the very core of conservative values and doctrine. There can be no compromise on the resolution of thousands and thousands of uneducated, unskilled, unsanitary, unhealthy and unwanted peasants entering our nation in violation of our law.

            Today is the result of Reagan’s miscalculation about immigration in 1984. Today, the bill came due with 50,000 children just walking into your country and my country.

            Cantor crossed over to the dark side thinking his vague and ambiguous support of “Immigration Reform” would endear him to a broader body of the electorate. He betrayed his base, and poked his finger in the eye of the people with his nonsense about building a Pathway to Citizenship. Instead, Cantor must now get on the pathway to the unemployment line.

          • Dominick Vila

            While it is true that most illegal immigrants are uneducated, it is never a good idea to generalize and portray an entire culture as “unsanitary and unhealthy”.
            The only amnesty of illegal immigrants that can be discussed based on fact is Reagan’s. Immigration reform may or may not include amnesty. In fact, there is a good chance that in addition to changing our immigration laws to make them more effective and responsive to our business needs, it may actually end up with a “solution” similar to what Sen. McCain proposed several years ago. That is, a guest worker program that allows migrants to do work that most of us are not interested in. Our agri-business, hospitality, garment, and construction sectors benefit from the availability of cheap labor, and we, the American people, benefit from low inflation.

            The most perplexing part of this issue, at least for me, is the fact that those who oppose the availability of fruit and veggie pickers don’t seem to mind the fact that foreign professionals, from countries such as India and Pakistan, are getting some of the best jobs our economy has to offer. Is it because we no longer aspire to a better life, or because we are too lazy to pursue the education needed to qualify for those jobs? Or is it cultural hatred?

          • Dominick Vila

            By the way, the fact that many Republicans reject immigration reform does not mean that goal is or is not a “conservative” issue.
            Many of the positions taken by the GOP have little to do with what most people interpret as “conservatism”. This is not one of them.
            The most likely reason, besides the rightful indignation that so many of us feel about people breaking our laws, and a proposal that would reward them for their crime, involve ignorance, ideology, prejudice, misguided economic concerns, and cultural hatred.

  • DAK27

    See kids, this is what happens when you lie everytime you speak, you’re rude and obnoxious to friend and foe alike, and you promote hatred and encourage the idiots. You helped create the monster called TEA Party and now maybe you realize a monster doesn’t care who it hurts.

    Canotr, you got what you deserved and I for one am glad. It couldn’t of happened to a more deserving asshole than you (except maybe McConnell and I hope he gets his this November… along with all the other Republicans who insist on placing party ahead of country. May you ALL be replaced with anyone from any party other than Republican.)