House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been defeated by a Tea Party-backed challenger in the 7th District Republican primary. Economics professor Dave Brat won a stunning upset victory Tuesday. The margin was Brat with 55.55% and Cantor with 44.45%. Cantor (pictured) currently is the second most powerful member of the U.S. House of Representatives and was seen by some as a possible successor to Spaeker of the House, John Boehner. Cantor’s loss to a political novice with little money marks a huge victory for the Tea Party movement, which supported Cantor just a few years ago. Brat had cast Cantor as a Washington insider who is not conservative enough. Last month, a crowd of Brat supporters booed Cantor in front of his family at a local party convention. Two other congressional primaries were held. In eastern Virginia’s 1st congressional district, incumbent Rob Wittman beat Anthony Riedel by a huge margin in the GOP primary. Riedel is a spokesman for the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. In the 8th District in Northern Virginia, former lieutenant governor Don Beyer was the winner in a crowded field of Democrats wanting to replace retiring congressman Jim Moran. Beyer picked up over 45% of the vote.
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