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Majority Leader Eric Cantor announces resignation after losing to David Brat

Eric Cantor defeat in Virginia primary
Eric Cantor defeat in Virginia primary
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

According to Fox News on Wednesday, Eric Canton the No. 2 Republican in the House was defeated in the Republican primary to an unknown Tea Party challenger, David Brat, a university professor of economics. Canton's lost has been called the biggest upset of the year. Canton, 51, lost his seat by 44.4% to 55.6% in the Virginia primary.

Mark Preston, CNN’s executive political editor, said “This came out of nowhere." CNN Political Analyst David Gergen said, “I think this will send shock waves through the Republican ranks." In a phone interview with CNN on Monday, Brat argued that Cantor is more attentive to donors in New York and California and big business groups than he is to enacting an agenda based on Republican ideals.

Most Republicans view Cantor as the most conservative member in the House leadership lineup. He was President Barack Obama’s chief opponent in budget negotiations in 2011, a role he proudly pointed out during this campaign season.

Following his primary defeat, Cantor announced his resignation as House Majority Leader effective July 31. That is a position he had held since 2011. He said he will remain a member of Congress until the start of the 114th United States Congress commencing on Jan. 3, 2015.

In his remarks, Canton said this is just an "individual setback" and he has learned that each setback leads to a new opportunity. He said he couldn't be more optimist about the future claiming he will continue to fight for middle class Americans and will continue to put his constituents first.