House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost the Republican primary for the 7th District in Virginia in an upset sure to shake Washington. The loss is widely being viewed as an upset with the website, The Raw Story, reporting Tuesday morning that Cantor was expected to win his primary. Dave Brat, a local University professor, was backed by the Tea Party and rode anti-incumbent sentiment to victory. He accused Cantor of being too focused on his national aspirations and not enough on the district. Cantor, on the other hand, tried to paint Brat as a liberal in the closing days of the primary. Cantor spent about $5 million on the race while Brat spent about $120,000, according to OpenSecrets.org.
Cantor, who was first elected in 2000, has had a rapid rise in leadership. In 2002, Rep. Roy Blunt appointed Cantor as Chief Deputy Republican Whip. Cantor later became Republican Whip in 2008, which made him the second-highest ranking Republican in the House. Later when Republicans assumed control of the House, he became Majority Leader. Cantor was widely seen as next to replace Speaker Boehner when he eventually retires and Cantor received three votes in the Speaker election last year. CNN’s Chief Congressional Reporter Dana Bash has reported that Boehner is less likely to retire due to Cantor’s loss.