HARRISONBURG,Va. (WHSV)-- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will step down from his position effective July 31.
He lost the Virginia primary election to rival economics professor David Brat. One member of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots said he isn't surprised Brat won. He said because of the political disposition of the 7th District it's quite likely he could win; however, another tea party activist said he thought Cantor would win the primary.
Cantor is the second most powerful member of the U.S. House, but Brat won with almost 56 percent of the vote on Tuesday.
Cantor's loss to Brat marks a victory for the Tea Party movement.
Joshua Huffman, a Tea Party advocate in Harrisonburg, said that based on polls before the race he wasn't expecting Brat to win.
"Well, I was actually very surprised. I'd like to think that it means that we'll be getting more candidates who are more constitutionally minded, more responsive to the grassroots, but I guess we'll see," said Joshua Huffman, a member of the Massanutten Patriots.
Huffman believes one reason for the win is local Tea Party support in the 7th district where Brat won. Edward Long, the director of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots, can speak to the Tea Party reaction to Brat's win.
"Not too surprised given that earlier this year Mr. Cantor's organization 'The Young Guns' failed to exercise slating as a means of control of the Henrico County Delegation to the 7th District Convention and, that Linwood Cobb, Chair of the 7th and political ally of Mr. Cantor, lost the Chair position to Fred Gruber, the grassroots candidate," said Edward Long.
Long also has his own beliefs for the implications of Cantor's loss.
"Mr. Cantor lost because the Voters of the 7th District chose not to reelect him. Given the political disposition of the 7th District Mr. Brat is most likely to win in November. The implications for the Commonwealth are multiple and include, a different attitude of the Congressmen of the other 10 districts and a greater likelihood that Virginia Voters in local, State, and National elections will have less patience with elected officials," Mr. Long added.
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