Washington, DC, United States (4E) – House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced on Wednesday he is leaving the post after losing the GOP primary in Virginia’s seventh congressional district and will not be in the ballot in the November general election.
Cantor, the first incumbent House majority leader to lose in his party’s primary, said he would serve in his leadership post until July 31 and will not seek a write-in campaign in his district.
The election to replace Cantor, a potential future speaker before his Tuesday loss to college professor and political unknown Dave Brat, is set on June 19.
The announcement followed a closed-door meeting with colleagues. In the meeting, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised Cantor, 51, and his staff. Cantor thanked his congressional staff, security guards and his campaign team before answering questions from reporters.
Answering a question why he lost in the primary, he said voters chose a different candidate.
He denied that he prioritized his own political advancement in the House over the needs of his constituents.
“I was in my district every week,” Cantor said, according to The Hill. “So there was a balance between holding a leadership position and serving constituents at home, but never was there a day that I did not put the constituents of the seventh district first, and I will continue to do so.”