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U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor goes down in primary shocker

House’s No. 2 Republican ousted by his own voters in Virginia’s 7th District

♦By Rich Shumate, editor

virginia mugRICHMOND (CFP) — In one of 2014’s biggest election shockers, U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost a Republican primary to a challenger who derided him as a Washington insider.

GOP House nominee Dave Brat

GOP House nominee Dave Brat

Despite being outspent 25-to-1, Dave Brat of Henrico, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, took 56 percent of the June 10 vote in Virginia’s 7th District, compared to 44 percent for Cantor.

Cantor, widely seen as the heir apparent to House Speaker John Boehner, is now out of Congress, leaving an unexpected vacancy in the House leadership.

Brat began the race saying he wanted to be Cantor’s “term limit.” He also said the majority leader “has spent his time climbing the power ladder, making backroom deals and undermining conservative legislation.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Brat also criticized Cantor for supporting legislation that would have allowed some children of illegal immigrants to remain in the country. Cantor shot back, saying he was opposed to granting “amnesty” to illegal immigrants and touting his opposition to an immigration reform bill now stalled in the House.

Federal Election Commission reports also show Cantor raised and spent more than $5 million on the primary — 25 times what Brat managed to raise.

The 7th District takes in suburban Richmond and some rural areas to the north. The district is heavily Republican, making Brat the prohibitive favorite in November.

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