As most already know, Eric Cantor announced that he was going to resign from office in mid August rather than serving out his congressional term until January. This announcement has triggered a special election in the 7th district that is scheduled for the same day as the general election in November. The special election is needed so that the people in the 7th district can have representation in Congress for the last 1.5 months of the year. Of course, this means that 7th District voters will go without representation in Congress from mid-August (when Cantor officially resigns) until the special election occurs in November.
Cantor stated that the reasons for his resignation was so that Brat,
will also have seniority, and that will help the interests of my constituents [because] he can be there in that consequential lame-duck session,”
Of course, many individuals close to Cantor, as well as pundits, believe Cantor has stepped down to pursue lucrative financial opportunities in the private sector. There is certainly nothing wrong with free market capitalism, although it would have been nice for Cantor to finish out his term and not complicate a critical November election.
Cantor’s decision to leave office early adds a lot of headaches for the 7th District GOP and the Brat campaign. They must divert their attention to filling a 45+ day vacancy (from November to the end of December) rather than on the general election for Gillespie and Brat.
It is important to remember that Brat is the Republican nominee in the 7th district congressional race for the 2015-2017 term. The GOP officially has no nominee to run in the special election that will finish out Cantor’s term for November/December 2014. Therefore, the 7th District GOP committee met on Wednesday night and decided how they were going to choose their nominee for the special election:
- They will have a mass meeting to choose a Republican nominee.
- The filing fee to be a candidate in the special election is $2500.
- The Call for a mass meeting will be posted on the RPV website immediately. Since it is a short notice Special Election, no newspaper posting is required.
- Any person seeking this temporary office must file within one week — by Wednesday, August 13, 2014.
- If more than one person files, a mass meeting will be held the following evening Thursday (August 14, 2014 at 7 PM) at Deep Run High School.
- If only one person files, the mass meeting will be cancelled and the candidate approved.
- This information must be reported to State Board of Elections by 5 PM on Friday, August 15, 2014, either that a mass meeting was held (if more than one candidate files) and XYZ candidate was elected OR the sole applicant is the Republican candidate.
This is pretty straight forward, but it could be very interesting if someone decides to run against Brat in the special election to fill the November/December 7th district congressional vacancy left by Cantor. It also requires Brat to spend money and reallocate resources to this effort over the next week, which is annoying at best. I guess we shall see how it works out.
Interestingly, when 7th district voters go to the polls on November 10th they will have to vote for Brat twice on the same ballot – once in the special election to serve as congressman in the lame duck congress for November/December of this year and once for the general election to serve as congressman from 2015-2017.
It is a shame that time, talent and resources have to be diverted from the general election. It begs the question: why couldn’t Cantor finish out his term through the end of December? I am sure we will find out soon. In the meantime, we shall see if anyone files to run against Brat for the GOP nod in the special election. We will know next week. Stay tuned…
As an aside, the Washington Times reported today that Brat’s general election opponent, Jack Trammell, has apparently not filed his financial disclosure forms. Trammell’s campaign blamed it on an oversight.