US House Republican Cantor loses to Tea Party rival in shocking loss

Cantor, the Jewish No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, had been seen by many as an eventual successor to House Speaker John Boehner.

By REUTERS
June 11, 2014 06:16
2 minute read.
Eric Cantor

Eric Cantor 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia lost to a Tea Party challenger on Tuesday in a stunning Republican primary upset that sent shockwaves through Congress and gave the conservative movement a landmark victory.

Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives, was easily beaten by college economics professor David Brat, who had argued Cantor had betrayed conservative principles on spending, debt and immigration.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Cantor had been seen by many as an eventual successor to House Speaker John Boehner, and his loss eventually will mean a shake-up in Republican leadership among House members already nervous about the depth of public anger toward Congress.

With nearly all precincts reporting, Brat had about 56 percent of the vote to Cantor's 44 percent.

A seven-term congressman, Cantor had spent more than $5 million to head off the challenge from Brat, a political newcomer who teaches at Randolph-Macon College. Brat spent about $122,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The result is likely to halt any efforts to craft a House immigration reform bill, as nervous Republicans hustle to protect themselves against future challenges from the right ahead of the Nov. 4 midterm elections. It could also make Republicans even more hesitant to cooperate with President Barack Obama and Democrats for fear of being labeled a compromiser.

"We all saw how far outside the mainstream this Republican Congress was with Eric Cantor at the helm, now we will see them run further to the far right with the Tea Party striking fear into the heart of every Republican on the ballot," said US Representative Steve Israel of New York, who heads the House Democratic campaign committee.



The victory emboldened conservative leaders who had seen a string of primary losses by Tea Party candidates this year to candidates backed by the Republican establishment, and it could encourage a conservative challenge to Boehner at the end of the year when the new leadership team is chosen.

"Eric Cantor's loss tonight is an apocalyptic moment for the GOP establishment. The grassroots is in revolt and marching," said Brent Bozell, a veteran conservative activist and founder of the Media Research Center.

Brat had repeatedly attacked Cantor for voting to raise the debt ceiling and accused him of supporting some immigration reform principles. In response, Cantor had sent voters a mailer boasting of his role in trying to kill a House immigration bill that would have offered what he called amnesty to undocumented workers.

US Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also faced a Tea Party challenge on Tuesday but he beat a crowded field of six challengers who had accused him of not being conservative enough.

Related Content

A child walks around a fake tank parked outside the US embassy
August 20, 2018
Amnesty International concerned over arms supplied to Israel, Saudi Arabia

By ANNA AHRONHEIM