The Tea Party just scored a massive upset: Economics professor David Brat defeated House majority leader Eric Cantor in a GOP primary in Virginia, reports AP. Brat had accused the No. 2 Republican in the House (and one-time Tea Party favorite) of not being conservative enough, and the message evidently resonated with voters in the Richmond-area district. With John Boehner making noises about stepping down as speaker, the 51-year-old Cantor had been his presumed successor. No more. Politico calls it "the most shocking primary defeat since Republicans took the House in 2010."
Brat, who teaches at Randolph-Macon College near Richmond, argued on the campaign trail that Cantor was more concerned about his rising political star than conservative ideals. "While he's got an eye on the speaker job, he's turned his back on his constituents," Brat told CNN yesterday. He also made an issue of immigration, criticizing Cantor's support of reform measures as "amnesty." Brat had just $40,000 in his coffers at at the end of March, compared with Cantor's $2 million, reports the Washington Post. “This is an earthquake,” former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber and a friend of Cantor’s tells the newspaper. “No one thought he’d lose.”