House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorIf we want to make immigration great again, let's make it bipartisan Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling to retire after end of current term MORE said he's "optimistic for the future" despite his stunning defeat Tuesday in Virginia's Republican primary, according to News Day.

Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, spoke to nearly 300 congregants of a New York synagogue on Saturday, his first public appearance since announcing this week he would step down from his leadership post next month.

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"The true test for all of us is to endure and remember our higher calling, not only as Americans but as Jews," Cantor said, talking for nearly ten minutes about his Jewish faith and the nation's foundation in religious freedom.

He did not directly mention his loss to Tea Party-backed Dave Brat, or his future plans.

Cantor is scheduled to attend a private fundraiser for state Sen. Lee Zeldin, a GOP candidate for Congress Saturday evening.