WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s being called the political “upset of the year.”

On Tuesday, an economics professor beat U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to win the Republican nomination for Congress in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District — the seat Cantor has held for more than a dozen years.

David Brat, who teaches Third World economics at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., defeated Cantor 56 percent to 44 percent largely by billing himself as even more conservative than the conservative Cantor. Brat also had support from the Tea Party.

First District Congressman David McKinley (R-W.Va.) said he was “shocked and stunned” by Cantor’s defeat. “It’s hard for me to grasp, someone of the stature and the substance and the character that he has, the impact that’s going to have (his loss) on the direction of this country,” he said.

Cantor was first elected in 2000. He quickly rose through the Republican House leadership ranks. Since 2011, he has served as House Majority Leader — the #2 position — and was viewed, by many, as a future replacement for House Speaker John Boehner.

His own internal polling reportedly showed he had a 30 percentage point lead over Brat heading into Tuesday’s primary. ¬†Instead of being easily renominated, though, Cantor became the first sitting House Majority Leader to ever lose his party’s primary.

McKinley said Cantor was a businessman before being elected to the U.S. House and, he said, that may have cost him.

“He brought with him the skill of negotiating and he was trying to do that, but we have people, here in Washington, who will not compromise. It’s black or white,” McKinley said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Brat ran as the anti-Cantor. His Twitter bio reads as follows: “I am running for Congress to be ERIC CANTOR’S TERM LIMIT. Free Markets, Constitution, Liberty. No more Crony Capitalism!”

He will face Democratic nominee Jack Trammell, also a professor at Randolph-Macon College, in the Nov. 4 general election.

Virginia’s 7th U.S. House district includes parts of Richmond, Va. and the Shenandoah Valley.

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Comments

  • Buck

    Cantor, Boehner and other establishment Republicans need to go. You can clear up the water until you get the pigs out of the creek.

  • will

    Shape up, or ship out....

    That's the message.....

    • joeyo

      That is correct

  • joeyo

    Dear David, no need to be shocked unless you thought once in office you would become a lifetime sponge of the tax payers money. Your comments threw a red flag for when I go to the voting booth this Nov. No More Career Politicians in DC. Term limits are a coming.

  • joeyo

    Dear David, no need to be shocked unless you thought once in office you would become a lifetime sponge of the tax payers money. Your comments throw a red flag when I go to the voting both this Nov. No More Career Politicians in DC. Term limits are a coming.

  • Mark

    We can only hope McKinley is next.

  • Woodchuck

    We need term limits so vote against all encumbents!

  • thornton

    I would reckon the loss is as simple as voter turnoff from politicos who look like used car salesman....now, if voters just get equally turned off from politicos who act like used car salesmen.

  • RogerD

    I was very happy to see a MetroNews article about Rep. McKinley. I think the last time we heard from him on this web site was the story about his insane remarks about a proposal to have unarmed military advisers stationed in Afghanistan. I was beginning to think he may have moved to South America or someplace.

    Sure enough though he has re-surfaced to make another dumb statement. I voted and supported this man in his effort to unseat his crooked predecessor. He lead us (me) to believe he was running as a conservative (Tea Party type) candidate.

    According the article, he is concerned that the Congress will lose an amnesty loving, big government Congressman. He is proving to be a huge disappointment to many of us.

  • ricardo

    This wasn't about Obama, it wasn't about negotiating, it was an Economics Professor talking about Crony Capitalism, something BOTH parties agree on and promote. It was about restoring a free market where corporations and banks that deserve to fail, actually fail, are broken up and sold to people who can run them efficiently. At least that seems to be what the guy ran on, and it means this economic professor is going to be roasted alive by the monopolistic, corporate controlled media.

  • BH

    No fan of either candidate, but you have to wonder about the polling. A 30% lead the day before the election? Were the polls conducted independently. If not, (paid by supporters i.e.) did this polling firm manipulate the data/questions in an attempt to discourage Bratt's supporters from voting. Or did they just poll unlikely voters?

  • wvwisdom

    I didn't hear this "Talkline," but McKinley's comments, as reported here, seem a little weird. McK sounds like he's in awe of Cantor. For gosh sakes, Dave, haven't you heard about how voters are angry with Republicans who go along with Obama on spending, the debt ceiling and amnesty for illegal immigrants (the big issue in Cantor's race)? Cantor's loss will improve "the direction of the country." It can be dangerous for politicians to like you to follow their party leaders all the time.

    • Hop'sHip

      Your wisdom might register with some out there but most people, including most business people, were NOT for defaulting on our nation's debt just to promote some vendetta against a President they don't like. You may have passion and your wisdom might register with some, including maybe most of Hoppy's followers here, but it does not represent a majority position in this country.

      • Aaron

        If a majority of Americans do not approve of the work of House Republicans, how come they keep electing them as a majority?

      • Diaspora

        Amen.

    • WV Grad

      McKinley get the picture. Folks are fed up with business as usual in Washington.

      Thomas Jefferson did not envision lifetime politicians with their noses in the trough.

      Time for a thorough flush of the D.C. crowd!

      • Diaspora

        Thomas Jefferson did not envision Black and Native Americans with civil rights either.

        • Todd

          And your point is??

  • DB

    Good. No seat is safe. I love seeing them shake in their boots. Maybe if these career politicians realize it they'll actually do some work.

  • Harvey

    One of the problems for representatives who become national figures can be inattention to constituent services. It may be that Rep. Cantor took his district and its individual voters for granted.

  • Hillbilly

    Maybe people are just getting tired of incumbents, I know I am. Same old people, expect same old results.

    • Wowbagger

      Oops Correction, ignore my post above:

      The sense I get is that Cantor was voter arrogant and didn't do a particularly good job listening to his constituents and acting accordingly, ignoring the big money sources. Cantor appeared very much in the pocket of the US Chamber of Crony Capitalism ... er Commerce. He was defeated by a grass roots effort. Brat was outspent by an order of magnitude but beat Cantor by a landslide.

      Frankly, I am a little concerned with McKinley's response.

    • Wowbagger

      The sense I get is that Cantor was voter arrogant and didn't do a particularly good job listening to his constituents and acting accordingly, ignoring the big money sources. Cantor appeared very much in the pocket of the US Chamber of Crony Capitalism ... er Commerce. He was defeated by a grass roots effort and was outspent by an order of magnitude.

      Frankly, I am a little concerned with McKinley's response.

  • Aaron

    I'm not sure I understand this one. Apparently the voters in VA's 7th were not happy with the job Cantor was doing? I wonder, what the turnout was on the election.

    • Tom

      Large turnout...larger than in 2012, a presidential election year.

      • wv4evah

        Large turnout? Ludicrous!

        There are 758-thousand people in Virginia's 7th Congressional District.

        65,000 of them voted. That's 8-point-6-percent of the Districts population.

        4.8% of them.. or 36,110 voters.. determined the winner.

        And don't forget: cross-over voting was allowed so it's entirely possible that Dems voted for Brat, hoping that he'll trip himself between now and November.

        I trust your analysis Tom comparing the turnout in '14 to '12, but "large" is clearly a mischaracterization.

        • Charleston,WV

          "And don't forget: cross-over voting was allowed so it's entirely possible that Dems voted for Brat, hoping that he'll trip himself between now and November."

          Washington speculates otherwise:
          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/11/did-democratic-votes-doom-eric-cantor/

      • Aaron

        I saw that. I've also read a lot about Cantor and the work he's done in Washington. I know the Obama Administration is happy today. I wonder if they will remain that way if Dave Brat makes his way to Washington next January.