Cantor ousted, local leaders react

Top ranking House Republican, Eric Cantor of Virginia was ousted in Tuesday’s primary election by a Tea Party backed challenger. Cantor’s bid for re-election fell 11 points short to college economics professor, David Brat by a vote of 56 percent to 45 percent.

The results have much of the country talking, including Tea Party leadership along the Gulf.

“The interesting thin is that more people voted in the Republican Primary in Virginia’s seventh congressional district last night than voted in the presidential election in 2012. I would say that people are fed up and you’ve got them riled up. You’ve got their attention,” said Chairman of the Common Sense Campaign of South Alabama, Pete Riehm.

Riehm says the election results in Virginia should send a powerful message. Eric Cantor was considered to be the leading candidate to be the next Speaker of the House and this defeat to Tea Party candidate, David Brat has garnered a lot of national attention…not just by the media, but by Republican Party leaders.

While the upset in Virginia has everyone talking, Riehm says that there were a lot of other

Tea Party candidates that were voted in this year.

“This has been slowly building. In May, there was congressional races in Florida, in Nebraska where Tea Party challengers won, in Texas, there was a Tea Party challenger for congressman and they upset the Leitenant Governor…a 12 year Leutenant Governor was oustedout of office by a Tea Party challenger,” Riehm said.

Riehm said Brat was outspent by Cantor 10 to 1 in his bid for re-election, spending overa million dollars advertising just in the last week of his campaign. Because of this, he believes Brant will have an easier time bringing about change.

“I think this guy will have a lot of latitude and freedom because he’s not beholden to all those money interests,” said Riehm.

Riehm also thinks that this victory will only bolster the Tea party cause around the country…something he’s already seeing right here at home.

“Hardly a week goes by that there’s not one or two Tea Party meetings, whether it’s a chapter in Bay Minette of Foley or Semmes of Irvington. There is something going on.

They’re meeting in groups of fifties and hundreds,” Riehm pointed out. Cantor served seven terms in congress. Now Brat will face Democrat, Jack Trammell in November. Trammell is also a professor at the same college that Brat teaches at. Cantor could run as a write-in candidate if he chooses.


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