Eric Ivan Cantor (born June 6, 1963) was a member of the United States House of Representatives for Virginia's 7th congressional district. A Republican, he served as House Majority Leader until he was defeated by landslide upset in 2014 in his own primary. A lifelong Virginian, Cantor also served five terms in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Cantor lost the Republican primary in his district to economics professor Dave Brat, due mostly to Cantor's weak stance on stopping illegal immigration. Cantor then resigned as Majority Leader effective July 31, 2014. This upset is the first time a sitting Majority Leader lost a primary challenge.
Eric Cantor was born and raised in Henrico County, Virginia. In 1985, he received a B.A. from George Washington University. He then went to law school at the College of William and Mary, graduating with a J.D. in 1988. The following year, he received a M.S. in real estate from Columbia University. After receiving his Master's, he began to work as an attorney in his family's real estate firm, where he worked until being elected to the House of Representatives.
In 1991, Cantor was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and was reelected to another four terms easily. Due to his background, he is staunchly pro-business, sponsoring a bill to limit the liability of the cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris in a Florida court decree, and opposing restrictions on telemarketers. When Tom Bliley decided to retire as Representative in 2000, he ran for the vacant seat. Despite narrowly winning the primary, he was able to defeat the Democratic challenger easily. After losing the 2014 Republican primary, Cantor resigned as Majority Leader and announced his resignation from the House effective August 18, 2014. Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe said that he was "heartsick" over Cantor losing the primary.
Eric Cantor's upset loss to David Brat led to the creation of the verb Cantorize.
- [Obama] "Stop your policies that are killing the American economy"
- "Eric Cantor Tells Virginia Newspaper He'll Resign in August", NBC News. Retrieved on August 1, 2014.
- "Virginia Gov. McAuliffe 'Heartsick' Over Eric Cantor's Primary Loss", NBC News, July 30, 2014. Retrieved on August 1, 2014.