Meet Dave Brat, an economics and ethics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, who launched a long-shot — and ultimately successful — bid to oust House Majority Leader Eric Cantor from his seat representing Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. He was only able to raise $200,000 for his whole campaign but had a decisive win over RINO Cantor.
ABC News Brat, who admits that he has supported several Cantor candidacies over the years, says he mounted his improbable primary campaign because the House GOP’s No. 2 leader has lost touch with his constituents, “veering from the Republican creed.” (Cantor’s support for amnesty is what killed him in this race)
“Years ago he had a good conservative track record, but now he’s veered off,” Brat told ABC News during an interview on Capitol Hill in May. “If you go to Heritage and look at their score, I think he’s at about a 53 right now. I mean, that’s an F-minus.”
Heritage Action’s scorecard tracks Republican votes, co-sponsorships and other legislative activity to gauge how conservative members of Congress are performing. Cantor actually receives a 52 percent, which ranks seventh among eight Virginia House Republicans. The quirky challenger always knew he had a tough road to victory in the primary.
“The race was once viewed as a long-shot, [but] it’s tightening now,” Brat said. “We’re well over double, triple what we had on the books just a month ago and so now we’re getting the national attention I always hoped.”
Brat complained that Cantor, 50, has a “crony-capitalist mentality” to take care of the corporate sector ahead of the interests of small businesses. “On the conservative scorecard, on the free market votes, he’s doing everything wrong,” Brat said. “He’s not following what folks in his district want him to do and it’s hurting the country.”
Brat calls himself as a “free market guy,” and says he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He also pledged never to increase taxes and to stick to a five-year promise not to vote to increase the debt limit.