By Jessica Taylor - 08/01/14 12:48 AM EDT
Now-former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will resign from Congress on Aug. 18, nearly two months after his surprise GOP primary defeat.
Cantor announced his plans in an interview with his hometown newspaper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the same day he officially stepped down from GOP leadership.
According to Cantor, his decision is timed so that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) can call a special election to coincide with the regular Nov. 4 general election.
“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,” he told the Times-Dispatch.
Long seen as the Speaker-in-waiting, the 14-year incumbent was dealt a surprising defeat at the hands of Randolph-Macon economics professor Dave Brat (R) on June 10. Cantor has since endorsed Brat, who faces another Randolph-Macon professor, Democrat Jack Trammell, in November in the heavily Republican district.
"I hope he will win," Cantor reiterated in support of Brat.
Earlier Thursday, Cantor bid his colleagues farewell one last time in an emotional speech before he passed the torch to incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
"This is a privilege of a lifetime," he told a packed House chamber.