DC ROCKED: David Downs Goliath

Photo Credit: AP / Steve HelberHouse majority leader Cantor defeated in primary

By Alan Suderman and David Espo.

In an upset for the ages, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-most powerful man in the House, was dethroned Tuesday by a little-known, tea party-backed Republican primary challenger carried to victory on a wave of public anger over calls for looser immigration laws.

“This is a miracle from God that just happened,” exulted David Brat, an economics professor, as his victory became clear in the congressional district around Virginia’s capital city.

Speaking to downcast supporters, Cantor conceded, “Obviously we came up short” in a bid for renomination to an eighth term.

The victory was by far the biggest of the 2014 campaign season for tea party forces, although last week they forced veteran Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran into a June 24 runoff, and hope state Sen. Chris McDaniel can prevail then.

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Photo Credit: Mark Wilson / Getty ImagesGOP Leadership in ‘Chaos’ After Eric Cantor’s Loss: “We’re absolutely stunned.”

By Billy House.

Befuddlement hit and lingered within the House GOP leadership ranks as Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s election fate was unwinding on Tuesday. Cantor lost in a major upset to primary challenger Dave Brat.

Speaker John Boehner, in a statement from his office late Tuesday night, said, “Eric Cantor and I have gone through a lot together.”

“He’s a good friend and a great leader, and somone I’ve come to rely upon on a daily basis as we make the touch choices that come with governing,” added Boehner, who said his thoughts Tuesday night were with Cantor, his wife Diana, and their kids.

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Democrats claim credit for helping Tea Party topple Eric Cantor

By Paul Bedard.

Tea Party Republicans upset with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s immigration push helped to torpedo his reelection Tuesday night, but Virginia political sources also give credit to Democrats who worked to undermine the No. 2 House leader by voting in the open primary.

Sources said the Democrats, some upset with the House GOP’s stonewalling of President Obama’s agenda and others mad the state Republicans took control of the state Senate this week, organized a get-out-the-vote effort to side with challenger Dave Brat, who beat Cantor.

“Some people who think the president is doing a reasonable job have argued back to me that Dave Brat will be even worse than Cantor. No. Dave Brat will be an inconsequential one-term backbencher howling against the oncoming tide,” said an email from a key Democratic anti-Cantor organizer Monday. “Leader Cantor losing because Obama supporters turned out to vote against him, will be the lead story in the national news on Wednesday,” it added.

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