Rep. Cantor to resign from House seat Aug. 18

Requests special election to enable successor to take office immediately
Associated Press
Aug 1, 2014

 

After a stunning primary election loss, former Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Friday that he will resign his seat in the House months earlier than expected.

The congressman will step down Aug. 18 and has asked Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election to enable his successor to take office immediately, Cantor said in a statement, a day after stepping down from his leadership post.

"It has been the highest honor of my professional life to serve the people of Virginia's 7th District in Congress," Cantor said. "That is why it is with tremendous gratitude and a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from Congress."

The move — first reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch — came as a surprise, as the Republican had previously said he would serve out his term and try to help GOP candidates win elections this fall.

McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said Friday that the governor's office was reviewing the request for a special election.

According to House rules, Cantor's office will stay open and his staffers will be able to continue to handle constituent services under supervision of the House clerk.

Cantor, a major fundraiser with close ties to big business and Wall Street, did not say in his statement or a guest column in the newspaper what he plans to do after leaving Congress. He said only that he wants to advocate as a private citizen "for the conservative solutions to the problems we face that will secure our nation's greatness and provide a better life for all Americans."

Cantor said a special election on Nov. 4, the same day as the scheduled regular election, would give the winner seniority rather than waiting until January to take office with the new Congress. He also noted that special election on the same day as the scheduled general election would not cost taxpayers extra.

Cantor lost to Dave Brat, an underfunded, tea party-backed opponent, in the June Republican primary. The 7th District is heavily Republican and Brat is considered the early favorite against Democrat Jack Trammell.

"It is vitally important that the constituents have a clear and strong voice during the consequential lame duck session of Congress," Cantor said. "I believe and hope that voice will be Dave Brat."

Brat, who was highly critical of Cantor during the primary campaign, thanked his former opponent for his endorsement.

"The time one has to sacrifice to be an elected official is enormous, and he has sacrificed a great deal to serve the people," Brat said in a statement Friday.

Cantor's resignation could force the candidates to devote some time during the campaign to preparing to take office immediately. Incoming congressman usually have more than two months to prepare to take office, including making staffing decisions.

Brat, who appeared caught off guard after defeating Cantor in June and spent several days after the election at home avoiding reporters, will be "ready to serve immediately," according to a spokesman.

"The campaign will move forward according to plan," campaign spokesman Brian Gottstein said.

Trammell, who has kept a low-key profile since Cantor's defeat, said through a spokeswoman that Cantor's announcement hasn't altered his campaign.

"Until I know more, this doesn't change my strategy," he said.

Cantor, 51, is a seven-term House veteran who before his defeat had been seen as a potential rival — and likely successor — to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Cantor appointed to his first leadership position in 2002, when he was named chief deputy whip of the party and became the highest-ranking Jewish Republican in Washington.

Though he had a conservative voting record, he was distrusted by some tea party supporters who suspected he might be too eager to reach compromise on immigration legislation.

 

Comments

kimi43464's picture
kimi43464

Yes....waste a few more taxpayer dollars before you go....what do you suppose a special election cost?

Kobayashi Maru

If you could read you'd see that he requested the special election to be the same day as the regular election. This is being done simply to make the winner take office immediately, instead of waiting until January. It will cost the taxpayers nothing as there is an election already scheduled that day.

Pterocarya frax...

Eric Cantor has turned into Eric Cartman:

"Screw you guys...I'm going home".

Next he will be screaming:

"You WILL respect my authoritah!"

What a joke.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Considering I believe he already has a job lined up with a big consultation/lobby firm he very well may be screaming just that. The revolving door just spins and spins...

Contango

Mr. Cantor arrogantly believed that his re-election was so secure, that he was in DC on the day of the primary and not out in his district campaigning like Mr. Brat.

Agree HZ: No tears are necessary; he'll do fine as a lobbyist.

Looks like "term limits" worked. :)

grumpy

If he is looking out for his "party"... he wants his replacement to get placed in his seat so he has more senority for those who are elected this time around... plus he wants his replacement to be the incumbant... which in times past is harder to beat than a new guy. That is IF he is thinking of his "party". Though I imagine he has a job as a lobbist lined up for much mo bettaa money than being in Congress. Probably some of both things.

deertracker

What a LOSER! He is not doing anything in Congress so he may as well go make the big bucks. LOSER!

meowmix

Actually deer, I'm thinking he may convert to the "left" side of things now that he doesn't have to pretend to hate anymore...

ContraryAnn

Let it be noted the 'Christian Nation' gets stronger as the last Jew leaves - without representation for the first time in decades.

pntbutterandjelly

Eric suffers from a disease that can only be cured with a new drug called "noassatal". He contracted it from the Speaker of the House who is his but buddy.

meowmix

Actually, he was a panelist on "Real Time with Bill Maher" this week. I'm thinking he's pretty disillusioned by his party--he seemed to enjoy quite a few of Bill's jokes. Ah, the sweet smell of former repugs and teabaggers crossing over is always so enjoyable to me.

Contango

Bill Maher, i.e. useful idiot for the ruling class.

Enjoy John Oliver much more.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I believe Barney Frank did the same recently by calling out the President for lying about the ACA. Amazing that when you don't have a guaranteed leather seat to rub against your backside how quickly the "truth" sets in.