In an upset, House Majority Leader Eric “King” Cantor has lost his primary bid to Tea Party challenger Dave Brat. The most powerful man in the country after a rule change last fall which enabled him to overrule majority choice on which legislation gets voted on, King Cantor has now lost his crown, and will no longer pretend to represent the folk of the 7th Congressional District of Virginia. No word yet as to which oligarch will now support him as a lobbyist once his time in congress is past.
The cause for this major upset boils down to the GOP’s overuse of gerrymandering. By carving out safe districts for their candidates in the general elections, the Republicans engineered a situation whereby fringe candidates within their own party now can cause primary challenges which can not only force out incumbents, it can enable for candidates who would do damage to the nation through their anti-government rhetoric to win seats in government.
Just one week ago, the same polling apparatus which proclaimed that Mitt Romney was going to win the 2012 presidential race was proclaiming that Eric Cantor was a shoe-in for the race, leading Dave Brat by 13 points. Cantor even outspent Brat almost 10 to 1. Yet, the election results speak for themselves, that the people of Virginia’s 7th have had enough of Eric and his pandering to the oligarchs.
Dave Brat will be facing off against Libertarian candidate James Carr, who is part of a massive Libertarian push across Virginia this election year, with candidates running for eight congressional seats and for the Senate. The Libertarian Party of Virginia’s 7th District Facebook page has already lit up in excitement from the news that their candidate will be facing off against the fringe candidate Dave Brat.
The original Democratic candidate for the district, Mike Dickenson failed to file the paperwork necessary to be on the ballot, although there has been some push for a write-in campaign. So, it looks like the field for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District is going to be dominated by the Tea Party and Libertarian candidates this year.
*UPDATE* It turns out that the Democratic Party of Virginia has pushed forward a candidate late yesterday, Jack Trammell. Like Dave Brat, he is a professor at Randolph-Macon College, and has not yet even gotten his campaign website up and running yet. For now it redirects to ActBlue, the Democratic PAC focused on internet fundraising.
One of the campaign issues which the Libertarian Party of Virginia’s 7th has already brought up is how the Commonwealth of Virginia requires 3rd party candidates such as James Carr to perform extra steps to get on to the ballots which the two majority parties do not engage in. When asked about his candidates chances in November, J. Todd Martinsen, the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Virginia‘s 7th Congressional District committee had this to say.
As chairperson of the Libertarian Party of Virginia’s (LPVA) 7th Congressional District committee I’m hopeful we’ll receive confirmation soon from the Virginia State Board of Elections that the signatures of 1,000 registered voters have been validated as a result of months of petitioning by James Carr and the LPVA. Keep in mind, petitioning is not a step required of the Democrat and Republican parties. The LPVA began campaigning for the opportunity to represent Virginia’s 7th congressional district, disadvantaged by Virginia’s unfair system of ballot access. I’m personally thankful for Mr. Carr’s willingness to serve because without him our electoral system as we’ve known it would have offered voters in Virginia’s 7th congressional district yet another uncontested candidate and no choice on election day. A campaign between Mr. Carr and Mr. Brat will make for an exciting choice that I sincerely hope will increase the voter turnout in our district this November. J. Todd Martinsen, LPVA 7th CD Chair.
The real result of this election is a shakeup in Washington DC as one of the stalwart corporatist candidates falls to a grassroots Tea Party challenger. Not only that, this was a candidate which could return home to his district every day for campaigning, unlike others such as Senator Mitch McConnell who had to fight off challengers while commuting from the nations capital to their districts. This denotes a season of change in the Republican Party as their strategy for success has bred their ultimate demise.
Who will be the next GOP leader to meet their political end?