Cantor will vote for Brat

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Sunday he will vote for Dave Brat, the man who ended his career in Congress, but stopped short of congratulating him or mentioning his name.

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Cantor, who lost to Brat despite outspending by a margin of 26 to 1, stressed the importance of keeping the Republican Party unified, a message he stressed to Tea Party conservatives in the House after the 2013 government shutdown.

Cantor said keeping his seat, Virginia’s 7th congressional district, in Republican hands is a priority and that’s why he’ll vote for Brat, who pummeled him mercilessly on the campaign trail as an ideological sellout.

“I want a Republican to hold this seat. Of course. Of course,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union." “This is about making sure that we have a strong Republican majority in the House. I'm hopeful we'll take it in the Senate, as well. I'm very optimistic about that.”

Cantor said GOP control of the House and Senate will provide a “real check” on the Obama administration.

But he did not mention Brat by name or congratulate him for his victory.

This has rankled Brat supporters who have criticized Cantor for not taking this customary step. They see it akin to Novak Djokovic not shaking Rafael Nadal’s hand after losing the French Open last week.

Cantor declined to speculate about his political future. He ruled out the possibility of running for governor in Virginia.

“No,” he said when asked about that job. “I am right now looking forward to sitting down with my wife, Diana. And we’ve talked a little bit. But we’re going to talk some more about the future.”