One day after absorbing a surprising primary loss, Rep. Eric Cantor has decided to step down from his post as House Majority Leader, according to multiple news outlets.
“Several GOP sources who have heard from Cantor and his allies say his resignation will be effective July 31,” reports Politico. He is not expected to leave Congress until January.
Reports of the legislator’s resignation have just come out; we’ll update this post as NPR learns more details. A news conference has been scheduled for 4 p.m. ET by the House GOP leadership.
Cantor’s decision to step down from his leadership role would begin “a weekslong scramble for the chamber’s No. 2 job, according to three Republicans familiar with his plans,” says The Washington Post. The newspaper adds that Cantor won’t run as a write-in candidate in Virginia.
The move to step down is an attempt “to limit a festering struggle within the House Republican caucus over who would assume his post,” The New York Times reports, citing an aide to the majority leader.
“Members are freaking out right now,” a senior House GOP official tells Fox News. The cable channel says phone calls are being made about where House members might place their allegiances in a possible battle for the No. 2 job; it also notes that Cantor is expected to support Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as his successor.
Cantor’s loss to relatively unknown Tea Party candidate Dave Brat has been called “stunning,” as political analysts and others failed to foresee the historic upset that played out in Virginia’s 7th District on Tuesday.