Democratic and Republican lawmakers bid adieu to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Twitter after his unexpected primary upset on Tuesday night.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), a conservative member of the party, was the first lawmaker to tweet about the loss and claimed it was a result of Cantor abandoning GOP principles.
I want to thank Eric Cantor for his service, but this should be wake-up call to GOP leadership. No one is safe if they abandon principle.— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) June 11, 2014
Stockman lost his primary challenge this year to incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). Cantor was defeated by Tea Party-backed David Brat.
The Establishment can mock the Tea Party all they want for not winning every challenge, but even if Tea Party goes 1-99, you might be the 1.— Rep. Steve Stockman (@SteveWorks4You) June 11, 2014
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) was the first congressional Democrat to react to the news on Twitter.
It looks like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has lost his re-election in the GOP primary in Virginia today!— Jared Polis (@jaredpolis) June 11, 2014
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) indicated Tuesday’s night’s outcomes were based on immigration reform stances. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a proponent of reform, won his primary and avoided a runoff. Cantor, meanwhile, had delivered mixed messages about his position on the issue.
Tonight proved the GOP has two paths on #immigrationreform: take a mainstream stance & win OR play both sides & walk the path to defeat.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 11, 2014
Many predict prospects for reform are dead now that Cantor has lost. He had helped author legislation, similar to the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for children who came to the U.S. illegally.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), an immigration reform opponent, said Virginia voters rejected Cantor’s support for amnesty.
Earthshaking primary results in Virginia tonight. Resounding rejection of #Amnesty and support for Rule of Law. Personal regrets to Eric.— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) June 11, 2014
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) said Cantor’s loss proves the Republican party is sharply divided.
Cantor's loss in Va tonight is a seismic development opening fissures in the GOP and a scramble in House leadership— Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) June 11, 2014
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) suggested Cantor would not have lost if Virginia’s primary system mirrored that in California, where the top two winners advance to the general election.
Eric Cantor lost to a very right wing extremist. This wouldn't have happened with California primary system #Cantor— Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) June 11, 2014
The stunning loss sent Twitter abuzz with shock and analysis, and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) inserted some sarcasm on his feed.
I have been super busy all day. Any political news I should be made aware of?— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) June 11, 2014
Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) suggested the Tea Party is overtaking Republicans.
Cantor loses primary: inmates are now fully running the asylum!— Jared Huffman (@JaredHuffman) June 11, 2014
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said she was proud to serve with Cantor, and worked closely with him on issues including Israel. Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in Congress.