At a meeting of the GOP’s rank and file on Wednesday afternoon, Eric Cantor who lost his re-election bid in the 7th congressional district in Virginia, announced that he will be stepping down from his position as House Majority Leader effective July 31st.
Cantor also announced that he won’t run again in the general election as a write-in candidate.
Cantor’s announcement stirred up the House Republicans as they scramble for the newly available position in the House leadership.
While it is expected that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy will want the number 2 spot in the House GOP, Texas Conservative Pete Sessions has already been on the phone drumming up support for his bid for the seat. He began sending out texts less than 20 minutes after Cantor announced his defeat at the hands of David Brat.
Sessions may have jumped the gun as he eyed Cantor’s leadership position and many who received texts from Sessions were soured by his eagerness to campaign before the seat was announced.
McCarthy used a different approach and waited until Cantor formally announced that he was stepping down.
Another Texan, Jeb Starling may also throw his hat into the leadership ring.
Majority Leader Cantor’s rapid rise to the top of the GOP food chain, is only eclipsed by his fall from the ranks at the hand of an unknown and out funded candidate from nowhere. If the six-term incumbent had retained his seat in Congress, he was a shoo-in for the position of Speaker of the House after John Boehner.
A new Majority Leader will be selected on June 19th.