In a political development with national implications, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost his Virginia Republican primary to tea party candidate Dave Brat, according to The Associated Press.
The upset was a stunning defeat for Cantor that interrupted a wave of confidence among establishment Republicans that they had successfully held off the tea party threat this year.
“I know there’s a lot of long faces here tonight,” he told a crowd of supporters in a Richmond hotel ballroom, according to The Washington Post. “It’s disappointing, sure. But I believe in this country. I believe there’s opportunity around the next corner for all of us.”
Cantor, 51, was the U.S. representative for Virginia's 7th congressional district in suburban Richmond.
The winner will face Democratic Party nominee Jack Trammell in the general election this fall. Trammell is a professor at Randolph-Macon College, the same school where Brat works.
The official tally from the State Board of Elections as of about 8:15 p.m. showed Brat with 55 percent of the vote, with 217 of 243 precincts reporting.