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Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had said that he would finish his term despite his primary defeat and stepping down as majority leader. But it looks like the lure of lobbyist dollars—and maybe the sadness of being in Congress as an extremely, prematurely lame duck—was too much for him. Cantor is resigning from Congress effective August 18:
Cantor said he has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincides with the general election on Nov. 4.
By having a special election in November, the winner would take office immediately, rather than in January with the next Congress.
“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.
And, of course, Cantor can now start the one-year clock until he's allowed to officially be a lobbyist several months earlier. Since his primary loss, Cantor had clearly stepped back from participation in the House; as of Tuesday:
Since losing to college professor Dave Brat in the year’s biggest electoral surprise, Cantor has participated in floor debate only twice, offering brief remarks before passage of uncontroversial bills to revamp worker training programs and extend adoption incentives. [...]
Perhaps the clearest signal of all that Cantor has started to check out: After skipping all three roll calls on Monday, he’d missed 30 votes since his defeat, for an 81 percent attendance rate since the June 10 GOP primary in Virginia. In the previous 13-and-a-half years, he had participated in 96 percent of all recorded votes.
He certainly won't be missed, but unfortunately the Republicans have plenty more smarmy callous types to take his place.
Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 05:11 AM PDT.