Cantor Loses Primary in Shocking Upset

After representing Virginia’s conservative 7th district for thirteen years, House majority leader Eric Cantor lost to economics professor Dave Brat in a shocking upset.

This is the first time that this has ever happened to a House majority leader, and it will have lasting repercussions for Virginia politics and President Obama, according to POLITICO.

The upset was particularly surprising because all of polls pointed towards Cantor’s triumph. Both Cantor’s campaign and the Daily Caller distributed polls that showed Cantor winning with a sizable margin, but Cantor instead lost by 11 points. Many have labeled this year as “the year that the establishment strikes back,” according to POLITICO, but Cantor may have struck back to hard.

Cantor’s $2 million campaign may have been overkill for an opponent that was barely on the radar. Putting so much energy and funds into fighting against Brat showed the voters that Brat was a worthwhile candidate.

While Brat accused Cantor of supporting immigration reform too much, the Obama administration accused him of delaying negotiations about reform. Regardless, passing immigration reform laws will now be almost impossible, particularly because many Republicans may interpret this loss as a warning sign to back even further away from this issue and more.

In addition, Cantor’s departure leaves no clear leader in the Virginia GOP. Ed Gillespie, who is the underdog in a campaign against Sen. Mark Warner (D), “is now arguably the most important Republican in the state,” according to POLITICO.

Meanwhile, the commotion over the 7th congressional district upset has almost completely overshadowed the highly anticipated Eighth District primary election. Former Lt. Gov. of Virginia Don Beyer defeated seven other Democratic candidates with 47 percent of the votes. Since the district tends to be strongly liberal, it is almost certain that he will win the general election in November and replace retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D), according to The Washington Times.

Lt. Gov. Bolling Sparks More Controversy with GOP

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling upset the Republican Party a long time ago when he dropped out of the race for the gubernatorial nod and said he wasn’t going to advocate for anyone in the race this year. This past weekend, he managed to anger Republicans even more when he was supposedly caught helping Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s PAC.

In an article published by The Washington Post Wednesday morning, Ken Cuccinelli’s chief strategist Chris LaCivita said, “Bill Bolling said he would not interject and would not get involved, and he gets caught working behind the scenes for his buddy Terry McAuliffe.”

The endorsement seemed to have happened last week when The Northern Virginia Technology Council voted to back Cuccinelli. This is when Bolling is thought to have supported the Democratic Party, ultimately upsetting the Republicans in Virginia. Bolling has been back and forth with his feelings on the Republican Party for quite some time now. According to the article in The Washington Post, Republicans are pretty certain that this is Bolling’s way of distancing himself from them completely.

“I think what Bolling or others are hoping is that, if there’s a [Cuccinelli] defeat, the reaction among moderate Republicans would be so strong as to provide a new opportunity. He didn’t have a future from the time he started dissing Cuccinelli, and this is just an escalation of what’s been going on for the last couple of months,” says Bob Holsworth, a former Virginia Commonwealth University professor and veteran Richmond politics watcher.

Herring, Northam Endorsed By Realtors

A Realtors PAC has come out in support of Mark Herring and Ralph Northam, the respective attorney general and lieutenant general candidates for the Democratic Party.

The PAC chose Northam over E.W. Jackson because of Northam’s bipartisan approach to solving Virginia’s issues, pro-business standpoints and support of policies strengthening Virginia’s housing market.

Mary Dykstra, President of the Virginia Association of Realtors, commends Northam’s record, stating, “Ralph Northam has a solid understanding of Realtor issues as well as those faced by property owners in Virginia.”

Herring received the endorsement for his long-standing support of a transportation compromise and focus on attracting businesses and jobs to the area.

For more, check out this piece from the Augusta Free-Press.

Northam and Jackson ‘Let’s Talk Women’

imagesBy The Times Dispatch-MARKUS SCHMIDT 

State Sen. Ralph S. Northam, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, and his Republican opponent E.W. Jackson traded barbs today over pay equity and workplace discrimination.

In a campaign newsletter, Northam cranked up the heat against his opponent, criticizing Jackson for opposing pay equity, citing previous comments made by the Republican that suggest equal pay measures add nothing to the dignity and equality of women. “In fact, it may make some businesses leery of hiring women for fear of the litigation that may eventually result,” Jackson wrote on a Tea Party website in May.

According to Northam’s newsletter, studies have shown that in Virginia, women earn about 78 cents on the dollar that men earn, and the wage gap for minority women is even worse. “This is a vital economic issue for Virginia and another example of E.W. Jackson’s disrespect toward women across the commonwealth,” the letter said.

Visit The Times Dispatch for more on this story.