Virginia Primary a HUGE Upset!

Written by Brandon Withem
The election in Virginia has shocked the nation Tuesday night when Eric Cantor lost the primary election in his home state, thus losing his position as House Majority Leader. No House Majority Leader has lost their position in such a resounding defeat by another in-house candidate. This demonstrates the deep divisions that continue to exist within the Grand Old Party (GOP), colloquially known as the Republican Party. The nation thought the tea party was finally beginning to dwindle in their rank and file numbers. This apparently is not the case with the recent primary election result in Virginia. Eric Cantor, an extreme conservative, lost to an ambiguous figure known as Dave Brat, a professor of Randolph-Macon College. Dave Brat is known to identify with the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. We, as a nation, will have to monitor this new player.

Eric Cantor has been long thought to become a potential House Speaker, now this is not the case anymore. The resulting election will, if not already has, create a ripple effect within the political landscape that has a far ranging impact.

Brat on left, Cantor on right
Eric Cantor’s rise followed a belief that the government should be small and encourage entrepreneurship. One of his major landmark achievements was to eliminate individual income tax rates for capital gains and dividends, which in turn helped create more opportunities for families and small businesses. He also created the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 which became law in 2006 that enabled people to save up for health care through Health Savings Account.

Eric Cantor’s political ambitions as a Republican have been marked by opposing President Obama’s economic strategies in 2009. He helped bridge the differences between the new tea party wing of GOP and the traditional GOP institution. Mr. Cantor also brokered an agreement with House Speaker Boehner that caused the government to shut down. He was the House Majority Leader of Congress until Tuesday when he lost the primary election in Virigina. Eric Cantor became House Majority Leader of the 112th Congress, and has been since until Tuesday.

Eric Cantor helped write a book called “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders.” He lives in Richmond, Virginia and has 3 children.