Vampire writer stakes out Eric Cantor’s seat
By: Tarini Parti
June 11, 2014 01:00 PM EDT
He’s a college professor and father of seven who’s working on a vampire novel. And suddenly he’s given Democrats hope — faint hope — of taking the seat that once belonged to Eric Cantor.
Jack Trammell thought he would be challenging the House majority leader in November’s general election for Virginia’s 7th District. But after Cantor’s upset loss in the GOP primary on Tuesday night, Trammell will instead face fellow political novice Dave Brat, who also happens to teach at Randolph-Macon College.
Little is known about Trammell’s policy views or his campaign operation. A spokeswoman for the Federal Election Commission said the agency had received no records from his campaign, meaning that he has either raised or spent less than $5,000 or that his paperwork is still in the mail.
And despite the sudden attention, Trammell has said nothing beyond a Tuesday night statement issued after Cantor’s loss.
“I am running because I believe Virginians are hungry for a radical change from the dysfunctional and reckless politics being practiced by those in Congress – and the results of tonight’s primary election are the proof,” he said in the statement.
“In the coming months, I look forward to a spirited campaign where we can talk about the issues that matter to our community, and how we can get Congress re-focused on the priorities that truly matter to us.”
Trammell is an assistant professor of sociology and director of disability services at Randolph-Macon, a small liberal arts school near Richmond. He won the Democratic nomination last weekend after no other Democrats were willing to take on Cantor, the presumed GOP nominee.
He lives on a small farm in Mineral, Virginia with his wife and children, according to his campaign website, which is limited to one-page. Trammell worked on Bill Clinton’s campaign in Kentucky and for Michael Dukakis’ unsuccessful White House bid.
He’s written books such as “The Richmond Slave Trade: The Economic Backbone of the Old Dominion” and “Conversations in History: Historical Events & the People Who Starred in Them.” He currently has a vampire novel in the works, according to his Amazon page. He also has served as a regular contributor to The Washington Times.
Democrats have been gleeful over Cantor’s loss to Brat, a conservative grassroots challenger, and there have been some suggestions of a potential opening for a more moderate candidate to win in the general election.
But this is a district that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won by about 57 percent in 2012. And although the race is now getting tons of attention, national Democrats are still reluctant to put resources behind a first-time candidate.
“House Majority PAC will be watching the VA-07 race shape up,” said Ali Lapp, executive director for the Democratic super PAC focused on House races. “Brat’s positions on the issues are clearly out of the mainstream of even Republican-leaning VA-07. We’ll watch it closely and determine whether or not it’s a good investment of resources.”