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After Primary Defeat, Cantor To Step Down As Majority Leader

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After Primary Defeat, Cantor To Step Down As Majority Leader

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After Primary Defeat, Cantor To Step Down As Majority Leader

After Primary Defeat, Cantor To Step Down As Majority Leader

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House Majority leader Eric Cantor lost his house seat in a surprising primary battle to college professor Dave Brat. During a news conference, Cantor declined to offer an analysis on why he lost.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. After one of the bigger upsets in memory, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor held a news conference yesterday.

GREENE: Cantor would not get into why he lost his primary battle to a little-known Tea Party challenger. Instead, he sent this message.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CONGRESSMAN ERIC CANTOR: I hope that all Republicans will put minor differences aside and help elect a Republican House and Senate so that we may all benefit from a proper check and balance that leaves our nation more secure, more prosperous and freer.

MONTAGNE: Eric Cantor said he will serve out his term in the House but will step down as majority leader at the end of next month. And he gave a nod to the person he thinks should replace him.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CANTOR: I can tell you that if my dear friend and colleague Kevin McCarthy does decide to run, I think he'd make an outstanding majority leader. And I will be backing him with my full support.

GREENE: Kevin McCarthy from California is currently the House whip. He'll have competition. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas says he also plans to run for majority leader.

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