Eric Cantor, who stepped down Thursday as majority leader, says he now plans to leave Congress early.
The Virginia Republican told his hometown paper that he plans to resign from Congress Aug. 18.
“I want to make sure that the constituents in the 7th District will have a voice in what will be a very consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Cantor is resigning because of the surprise loss of his primary election to David Brat, a political unknown and an economics professor￼ at Randolph-Macon College.
The day after his loss, Cantor said he would step down as majority leader, but vowed to serve out the remainder of his term in Congress.
But now Cantor says he has asked the governor of Virginia to mark the November general election as also a special election so his successor can take office immediately.
“Right now, I’m focused on winning on November 4th,” Brat said in a statement. “If I’m fortunate enough to be chosen by the people of the Seventh District to be their next Congressman, I’ll come to the office on November 5th ready to serve.”
Larry Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that “it’s highly probable that he has a very lucrative deal in the works for his post-Congress life, and he’s eager to get started.”