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Virginia's 7th Congressional District special election, 2014

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Virginia's 7th Congressional District

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
June 10, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
David Brat Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Eric Cantor Republican Party
Eric Cantor.JPG

Race Ratings
Cook Political Report: Solid Republican[1]

Sabato's Crystal Ball: Safe R[2]


Virginia U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9District 10District 11

2014 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Virginia.png
The 7th Congressional District of Virginia held a special election for the U.S. House in 2014. The special election was held to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Rep. Eric Cantor.[3]

David Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College, defeated his colleague Jack Trammell (D), who is also a professor at Randolph-Macon, in the special election and the regular election. He will join Congress on November 12, 2014.[4]

Brat defeated incumbent Eric Cantor, who was the second-highest ranking Republican in the House at the time, in the Republican primary on June 10, 2014.[5] The defeat caused Cantor to resign as House Majority Leader on July 31, 2014, and resign from the House on August 18, 2014.[3]

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
August 15, 2014
No primary for special election
November 4, 2014

Primary: Virginia is one of 14 states that uses an open primary process, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[6]

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by February 10, 2014. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 14, 2014 (22 days before election).[7]

See also: Virginia elections, 2014

Incumbent: Eric Cantor (R) was first elected in 2000.

Virginia's 7th Congressional District is located in the central portion of the state and includes Culpeper, Orange, Spotsylvania, Louisa, Hanover, Richmond City and New Kent counties.[8]

Candidates

Failed to file

Election results

U.S. House, Virginia District 7 Special Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Brat 61.7% 148,841
     Democratic Jack Trammell 37.8% 91,236
     N/A Write-in 0.5% 1,236
Total Votes 241,313
Source: Virginia Department of Elections

Race background

Special election request

Former Rep. Eric Cantor, who resigned from the House of Representatives on August 18, asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincided with the general election on November 4.[3] Voters in Virginia's 7th District cast two votes -- one to fill the remaining two months of Cantor's term and one to fill the two-year term beginning in January. Election officials in Virginia were worried that having two sets names on the ballot would confuse voters, especially those casting absentee ballots. Henrico County registrar Mark Coakley said, “I would hate for someone overseas to get a ballot thinking we misprinted it and send it back."[11]

Signature-filing deadline

After Gov. Terry McAuliffe authorized the special election, third party candidates had 10 days to submit 1,000 signatures from registered voters to the State Board of Elections. Republican and Democratic candidates did not need to submit any signatures. Instead, David Brat (R) and Jack Trammell (D) were nominated by their local parties.[9][10] Libertarian James Carr submitted enough signatures to appear on the ballot for the regular election, but he did not submit the required number of signatures to appear on the special election ballot.[12]

Carr noted that the setback would not change his campaign strategy. He said, “Our entire approach has been to get out and talk to as many people as possible. The only thing that is going to change is we’re going to have to illustrate to voters that they have an option to write me in.”[12]

Unprecedented loss

An unprecedented loss by Cantor gave him the dubious distinction of being the first-ever sitting House Majority Leader to lose a primary bid. The upset victory by Randolf-Macon College professor David Brat put Republicans in the U.S. House into a leadership scramble.

Cantor spent over $1 million dollars in the last month of the election, compared to Brat, who barely raised $100,000 during the entire primary campaign, according to FEC filings.

After his defeat, Cantor announced that he would step down as House Majority Leader.[13] Kevin McCarthy, former House Majority Whip, took over as House Majority Leader after Eric Cantor gave up the position on July 31, 2014.[14]

Cantor resignation

Cantor resigned from the House of Representatives on August 18, 2014, to avoid a lame-duck session. He asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincides with the general election on November 4 so that the winner can take office immediately, rather than waiting to start in January with the 114th Congress.[3]

Cantor explained his early resignation saying, “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.”[3] Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said while Cantor's resignation was a “generous gesture,” his motivation may not have been purely altruistic. “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,” said Sabato.[3]

Cantor's defeat in the June 10, 2014, Republican primary set off the following chain of events:

  • June 10, 2014: Brat defeated Cantor, making him the first-ever sitting House Majority Leader to lose a primary bid.
  • June 11, 2014: Cantor announced that he would step down as House Majority Leader.
  • July 31, 2014: Cantor officially resigned as House Majority Leader and announced his resignation from Congress, effective August 18, 2014.
  • August 18, 2014: Cantor resigned from Congress.
  • November 4, 2014: A special election that coincides with the general election will be held in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.

Campaign contributions

Jack Trammell

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Trammell's reports.[15]

Jack Trammell (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[16]July 15, 2014$0.00$155,003.13$(13,803.78)$141,199.35
October Quarterly[17]October 15, 2014$141,199.35$280,840.41$(146,109.73)$275,930.03
Running totals
$435,843.54$(159,913.51)

David Brat

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Brat's reports.[18]

David Brat (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[19]April 15, 2014$0.00$89,610.53$(47,192.85)$42,417.68
July Quarterly[20]July 15, 2014$86,179.32$401,705.05$(269,011.32)$218,873.05
October Quarterly[21]October 15, 2014$218,873.05$551,879.57$(342,383.10)$428,369.52
Running totals
$1,043,195.15$(658,587.27)

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

2012

The 7th Congressional District of Virginia held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012. Incumbent Eric Cantor won re-election in the district.[22]

U.S. House, Virginia District 7 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic E. Wayne Powell 41.4% 158,012
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngEric Cantor Incumbent 58.4% 222,983
     Write-In N/A 0.2% 914
Total Votes 381,909
Source: Virginia State Board of Elections "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

2010

On November 2, 2010, Eric Cantor won re-election to the United States House. He defeated Rick E. Waugh, Jr. (D) and Floyd C. Bayne (G) in the general election.[23]

U.S. House, Virginia District 7 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngEric Cantor incumbent 59.2% 138,209
     Democratic Rick E. Waugh 34.1% 79,616
     Green Floyd C. Bayne 6.5% 15,164
     N/A Write-in 0.2% 413
Total Votes 233,402

See also

External links

References

  1. Cook Political Report, "2014 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR AUGUST 8, 2014," accessed August 21, 2014
  2. Sabato's Crystal Ball, "2014 House Races," accessed August 21, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Cantor to resign from Congress Aug. 18," accessed August 1, 2014
  4. Roanoke.com, "Dave Brat defeats Jack Trammell to win 7th District seat," accessed November 10, 2014
  5. Associated Press, "Virginia - Summary Vote Results," accessed June 10, 2014
  6. Code of Virginia, "Title 24.2, Section 530," accessed June 10, 2014
  7. Virginia State Board of Elections Website, "Become a Registered Voter," accessed January 3, 2014
  8. Virginia Redistricting Map "Map" accessed July 24, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 Facebook, "David Brat for Congress," August 13, 2014
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named special
  11. Washington Times, "As Eric Cantor steps down, Virginia election officials worry about voter confusion," accessed August 19, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1 StyleWeekly.com, "Libertarian Plans Legal Action to Seek Ballot Access," accessed August 19, 2014
  13. CNN, "Eric Cantor dropping leadership post, calls loss 'personal setback'," accessed June 18, 2014
  14. Fox News, "California Rep. Kevin McCarthy selected as new House majority leader," June 19, 2014
  15. Federal Election Commission, "Trammell 2014 Summary reports," accessed October 23, 2014
  16. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2014
  17. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2014
  18. Federal Election Commission, "Brat 2014 Summary reports," accessed April 29, 2014
  19. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  20. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2014
  21. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 23, 2014
  22. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Virginia"
  23. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013