Conservatives defeat Cantor's choice to lead GOP his home district

Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House leadership, faces a tea party challenger, David Brat, in his bid for the GOP nomination. The auguries yesterday couldn’t have been worse for the House Majority Leader. Jenna Portnoy of the Washington Post reports:

SHORT PUMP, VA. — Just a few miles from his family home, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) felt the wrath of the tea party Saturday, when activists in his congressional district booed and heckled the second-most powerful House Republican.

They also elected one of their own to lead Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Republican Committee, turning their back on Cantor’s choice for a post viewed as crucial by both tea party and establishment wings in determining control of the fractured state GOP.

Former lieutenant governor Bill Bolling, pushed out of last year’s governor’s race by a similar party schism, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the results of the vote, in which longtime Cantor loyalist and incumbent Linwood Cobb was unseated by tea party favorite Fred Gruber.

“Clearly, there is a battle taking place for the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Bolling said in a statement. 

It’s rare to see such a frank and accurate statement as that last sentence from a member of the Republican establishment. Heart and soul, indeed.

The first contested election in more than a decade forced the party to move the convention from a high school auditorium to a Hilton ballroom set up for more than 1,200 people.

Reports of the death of the tea party, to paraphrase Mark Twain, have been highly exaggerated. Cantor must now face voters in a June 10th primary in the knowledge that it is an open primary, allowing all voters, not just registered Republicans, to participate. He might want to rethink his support for amnesty.

Hat tip: Mark Levin

Eric Cantor, the number two Republican in the House leadership, faces a tea party challenger, David Brat, in his bid for the GOP nomination. The auguries yesterday couldn’t have been worse for the House Majority Leader. Jenna Portnoy of the Washington Post reports:

SHORT PUMP, VA. — Just a few miles from his family home, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) felt the wrath of the tea party Saturday, when activists in his congressional district booed and heckled the second-most powerful House Republican.

They also elected one of their own to lead Virginia’s 7th Congressional District Republican Committee, turning their back on Cantor’s choice for a post viewed as crucial by both tea party and establishment wings in determining control of the fractured state GOP.

Former lieutenant governor Bill Bolling, pushed out of last year’s governor’s race by a similar party schism, said he was “extremely disappointed” by the results of the vote, in which longtime Cantor loyalist and incumbent Linwood Cobb was unseated by tea party favorite Fred Gruber.

“Clearly, there is a battle taking place for the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” Bolling said in a statement. 

It’s rare to see such a frank and accurate statement as that last sentence from a member of the Republican establishment. Heart and soul, indeed.

The first contested election in more than a decade forced the party to move the convention from a high school auditorium to a Hilton ballroom set up for more than 1,200 people.

Reports of the death of the tea party, to paraphrase Mark Twain, have been highly exaggerated. Cantor must now face voters in a June 10th primary in the knowledge that it is an open primary, allowing all voters, not just registered Republicans, to participate. He might want to rethink his support for amnesty.

Hat tip: Mark Levin

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