In a seismic shock to Congress--and the Republican establishment--House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., lost to Tea Party-backed foe David Brat in Tuesday’s congressional primary. Cantor was one of the most powerful Republicans in the House and was considered a likely future speaker.
So little is known about Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va., according to the Wall Street Journal, that a Wikipedia article on him had only two sentences of information, the Journal pointed out. It’s not even clear how seriously Brat expected to win. He seemed more interested in campaigning “to make a point,” the Journal said. He didn’t show up to important conservative activist meetings in the capital because he reportedly had final exams to grade.
Answering a questionnaire from the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Monday, Brat laid out his priorities. "I believe that my fellow citizens deserve better representation from their congressman. My major campaign focus has been on stopping out-of-control spending, preventing amnesty for illegal immigrants and defunding and repealing Obamacare. I pledge to fight for term limits, a fair or flat tax, reduce the power of the federal government and bring funding back to our state."
He also advocated "market-based reforms" to Medicare and Social Security.
Brat has several published works, which include: “Ethics as Leading Economic Indicator? What went Wrong? Notes on the Judeo-Christian Tradition and Human Reason,” “God and Advanced Mammon – Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?” and “An Analysis of the Moral Foundations in Ayn Rand.”
Twitter commentators jumped into discuss Cantor’s loss--and try to figure out who Brat is. Check out some of their posts below:
David Brat just credited God with his primary win. You can't say God doesn't have a sense of humor.
— Luke Brinker (@LukeBrinker) June 11, 2014
— Ray King (@RayKingCreative) June 11, 2014