Cantor, Eric Ivan

Cantor, Eric Ivan, 1963–, U.S. politician, b. Richmond, Va., grad. George Washington Univ. (B.A., 1985), William and Mary (J.D., 1988), Columbia (M.S., 1989). A conservative Republican, he worked as a real-estate developer, founded a mortgage-brokerage agency, and served (1991–2001) in the Virginia House of Delegates before he was elected (2000) to the House of Representatives. An expert vote counter and successful fundraiser, he became Republican chief deputy whip in 2004 and quickly won note as a spokesman for his party's right wing. Cantor became minority whip in 2009, and was one of the leading voices in opposition to President Obama 's stimulus package and health-care insurance overhaul. After the Republicans won control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections, he became (2011) House majority leader. Despite being regarded as a member of the House leadership attuned to the Tea Party movement, he lost the 2014 primary to a more conservative challenger, He subsequently resigned as majority leader and then from Congress, joining a Wall Street investment bank.

See his Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders (2010, with P. Ryan and K. McCarthy).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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