House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) conceded Tuesday night that “obviously, we came up short” in fending off the Tea Party challenge from economics professor Dave Brat.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Brat had 55.6 percent to Cantor’s 44.4 percent.
“I know there’s a lot of long faces here tonight and it’s disappointing, sure,” Cantor said. “But I believe in this country, I believe there’s opportunity around the next corner for all of us.”
“So I look forward to continue to fight with all of you for the things that we believe in for the conservative cause because those solutions of ours are the answers to the problems that so many people are facing today.”
While Cantor’s loss unfolded and the majority leader gave his concession speech, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Va.) delivered a marathon speech against immigration reform on the House floor.
The remainder of the Hill was largely quiet, with no comments from other House leaders.
The possibility remained, though, that Cantor could attempt the same move that let Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to keep her seat.
In 2010, conservative Tea Party favorite Joe Miller, backed by Sarah Palin, knocked Murkowski out in the primary. After failing to find any other route to ballot access, Murkowski launched a write-in campaign and defeated Miller — becoming the first senator in more than five decades to win her seat via write-ins.