Brat Beats Cantor in VA: Harbinger of Things to Come?

StarHailed as an “historic victory achieved by Americans armed only with their passion and their commitment for liberty,” Tea-Party backed challenger Dave Brat trounced House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Virginia primary. It’s THE race everyone is talking about this morning – from both sides of the aisle.

A June 11 fund-raising email from the Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund titled Virginia Miracle dubs Brat’s historic defeat of “pro-amnesty, pro-bailout, pro-taxes Eric Cantor” one of “the greatest upsets in the history of American politics.” The email credits “grassroots activists” with the victory and says:

Now we must take all this incredible momentum provided by the local Tea Party grassroots in Virginia and win the Mississippi senate run-off.

“Grassroots activists aren’t just winning in Virginia and Maine,” trumpets Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks. “They won in Nebraska when they nominated Ben Sasse. They won big in Texas. And because of the hard work of grassroots Americans, we’re winning in Mississippi and Georgia.” Kibbe continues:

2014 is going to be a good year, and it’s because of the hard work of people like you. The fight is not over yet, but I want you to know it matters. And I want to make sure you know that grassroots activists across America are making the difference.

Meanwhile, the defeated House Majority Leader Eric Cantor offered a curious concession speech in which he refused to name his victorious opponent or offer Brat any support:

Conservatives and Republicans aren’t the only ones who are sitting up and taking notice. Business Insider reports that a “Democratic Party official” has this to say about the upcoming race into November:

“You have a guy that is so far to the right, this guy is a real loon from everything I’ve seen,” the official said of Brat. “That’s not the district this is. This is a suburban Virginia district, it’s not a Glenn Beck crowd.”

And:

On Facebook, the previously empty campaign page Trammell created Monday was flooded with nearly 50 comments in an hour from newfound supporters who indicated Cantor’s loss gave him a path to victory. One of those posts was from Virginia’s LGBT Democratic caucus.

“Eric Cantor has been defeated in the Republican Primary in the 7th Congressional District!” the post said. “Democrats now have a chance to win this district with Jack Trammell for Congress! Go Trammell!”

Trammell unanimously won the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District seat at the party convention last weekend.

Are reports of the Tea Party’s death greatly exaggerated? Is the Brat victory a harbinger of things to come? What’s next for the GOP?

About Dave Brat

Photo credit: Public domain.

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