Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is hastening his exit from Congress, announcing Thursday that he will resign from his House seat Aug. 18, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Friday. The move came the same day Cantor quit as majority leader.
“I want to make sure that the constituents in the 7th District will have a voice in what will be a very consequential lame-duck session,” said Cantor, who was the No. 2 Republican in the House, and possible future speaker, until his shocking primary defeat by unknown conservative challenger Dave Brat. The congressman said he urged Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to hold a special election for his seat on Nov. 4, the same day as the election for the next term, so his successor could take office immediately. Had he waited out his term, Cantor would have remained in office until January.
“That way he will also have seniority, and that will help the interests of my constituents (because) he can be there in that consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor said.
A day after his June 10 loss to Brat, Cantor announced he would resign as majority leader effective July 31. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was elected by the GOP caucus to succeed Cantor as majority leader.