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Cantor resigns from Congress

It was confirmed from his office Friday that Congressman Eric Cantor (R-7th) will be stepping down from Congress effective August 18.

In office for seven terms, it was widely believed that Cantor would be next in line as Speaker of the House.

That was until he was defeated by a little known college professor David Brat in the primary election held June 10.

That made Brat the GOP nominee rather than Cantor who subsequently announced that at the end of July he would step down as majority leader.

His replacement as majority leader is Kevin McCarthy from California.

On Thursday, Cantor gave a farewell speech in Washington, D.C. relinquishing his leadership as House Majority Leader, a position that he has held for the last four years.

His term as congressman would have ended at the year of this year.

Cantor penned a column which appeared in the Richmond Times Dispatch on Friday. http://www.timesdispatch.com/opinion/their-opinion/columnists-blogs/guest-columnists/cantor-serving-virginians-has-been-my-highest-honor/article_88e0577d-69b6-5eb2-89e6-ebff4d24677a.html

An excerpt follows.

“It has been the highest honor of my professional life to serve the people of Virginia's 7th District in Congress. That is why it is with tremendous gratitude and a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from Congress, effective Aug. 18 … During this time of transition for me and my family, it is my foremost desire to ensure that representation is maintained for the people of the 7th District. For this reason, I have asked Gov. McAuliffe to hold a special election on Election Day, at no additional cost to taxpayers, so my successor can be sworn in immediately in November.”

Cantor supported Brat in his comments. Brat will face Jack Trammell, a fellow college professor at Randolph-Macon, in the November general election.

“It is vitally important that the constituents have a clear and strong voice during the consequential lame-duck session of Congress. I believe and hope that voice will be Dave Brat. The issues that will be considered during the lame-duck session this year will be crucial to the future of our country. These debates will continue into the new Congress, and the people of this district deserve to have their new voice representing them and engaging on their behalf.

Word spread quickly about Cantor's decision.

Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) released the following statement.

“I have been honored to serve alongside Eric, and I am proud to consider him a friend. Eric has been a steady voice on behalf of Virginians and has consistently pursued policies and ideas to preserve our American freedoms and improve the way of life in our communities, Commonwealth, and nation. I wish Eric and his family the best as he begins this next chapter, and I know that he will continue to be a champion for the causes he cares about most. I commend Eric for his 22 years of service, both in the General Assembly and the House of Representatives, and I am forever grateful for his selfless commitment to the people of Virginia.”

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