The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

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

Want more political news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Republicans in the Arizona state Senate are officially off the hook for the $2.8 million needed to replace hundreds of voting machines ruined during the GOP-led, scandal-ridden "audit" of the 2020 election results in the state, the Arizona Republic reported.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in August to force GOP state senators — who had signed an agreement saying that they would be responsible for any costs incurred from their "forensic audit" of the state's 2020 election — to pay the millions for the machines.

Keep reading... Show less

In December 2019, when then-President Donald Trump was facing his first of two impeachments, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie launched the nonprofit Right Direction America to defend him. The 2022 campaign of far-right Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a hardcore Trumpista, donated $100,000 to the nonprofit earlier this year during Trump's second impeachment — and journalist Roger Sollenberger, in an article published by the Daily Beast, stresses that the donation raises some questions.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}