Representative Cantor to resign House seat early

WASHINGTON Fri Aug 1, 2014 9:28am EDT

Eric Cantor (R-Va) arrives for House Republican leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2014.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Eric Cantor (R-Va) arrives for House Republican leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Representative Eric Cantor said on Friday he will resign his seat effective Aug. 18, months earlier than expected following a stunning defeat in a Republican primary election.

Cantor, who on Thursday stepped down from his leadership position in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, said he had asked Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to call a special election to coincide with November's congressional elections.

Such a race would allow the winner to take office immediately, rather than in January when the next Congress convenes, he wrote in a column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

"I want to make sure that the constituents in the 7th District will have a voice in what will be a very consequential lame-duck session," Cantor told the newspaper in an interview, referring to the period between the election and start of the new Congress.

It also would give the winner some seniority over the rest of the new class elected in November, he wrote.

Cantor, who was elected to the House in 2000 and served as House majority leader since 2011, unexpectedly lost to a Tea Party-backed college economics professor in June. The defeat stopped Cantor's bid for an eighth term but he had been expected to serve out his current term through December.

The Virginia lawmaker did not reveal his plans once he leaves office.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Bill Trott)

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Comments (11)
jmfree wrote:
Sounds like he got a better job offer.

Aug 01, 2014 8:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Brin wrote:
A huge chunk of the story must be missing. J realize it will be art of the November election, but exactly how much will this cost the state of Virginia? Rather than abdicating his sworn duty and responsibility to the folks of Virginia, surely Mr. Cantor could remain in office for the last two months of his term. Hard to believe he’s leaving early only to allow someone else a small leg up on the seniority ladder.

Aug 01, 2014 8:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
njglea wrote:
No special election, Governor McAuliffe, just because Mr. Cantor can’t take losing face. The office can stay vacant until next year. Filling government vacancies doesn’t seem to be a problem for the republicans when it comes to important bills to keep America running, filling vacant judge positions or filling cabinet positions. Mr. Cantor thinks much too highly of himself.

Aug 01, 2014 9:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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