WASHINGTON (AP) – Virginia Republican Rep. Eric Cantor says he will step down as House majority leader on July 31. He plans to stay in Congress but not seek re-election.
Cantor announced his decision at a news conference Wednesday.
The Virginia Republican revealed his decision a day after his astonishing upset in a primary election by economics professor David Brat.
Cantor has been one of the most conservative GOP congressional leaders. Brat was scarcely known and far outspent by Cantor but had the support of tea party groups, who viewed Cantor as too willing to compromise.
Cantor had been widely seen as the likely eventual successor to House Speaker John Boehner.
Other lawmakers are already maneuvering to try succeeding Cantor as majority leader.