The Tea Party from all across Virginia is taking much of the credit Wednesday for shooing Congressman Eric Cantor out of his power position - and office - in Washington. Cantor will resign his role as House Majority Leader in July after Wednesday night's primary loss.
The Jefferson Area Tea Party credits its members in the Fifth District with helping David Brat's campaign knock on doors in the Seventh District.
Past president of the Jefferson Area Tea Party Carole Thorpe compares Brat's win to the common man slaying Goliath. She says tea party volunteers across the commonwealth supported Brat's campaign to topple the big money-backed and Republican establishment Cantor.
The tea party believes this primary sends a message to all candidates that their seats in Congress belong to the people - not the politician.
“When Robert Hurt was elected in 2010, I shook his hand and congratulated him and one of the first things I said was, ‘Let me give you a piece of advice. When Eric Cantor calls you to lunch, tell him you're busy.’ What I meant by that is Eric Cantor is exactly the kind of established Republican and politician in general that you want to avoid being,” said Thorpe.
Thorpe blames Cantor's loss partially on the backlash from his support for a form of amnesty for children of undocumented immigrants.
Thorpe says the Seventh District primary sends a message across Virginia about the grassroots involvement of the tea party.
Brat will face another grassroots candidate and fellow Randolph-Macon College professor, Democrat Jack Trammell.
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