- The Washington Times - Friday, August 1, 2014

Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has confirmed reports he will be stepping down from Congress later this month.

The Virginia Republican said it “has been the highest honor of my professional life to serve the people of Virginia’s 7th District in Congress. That is why it is with tremendous gratitude and a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from Congress, effective Aug. 18.”

The statement follows reports in the Richmond Times-Dispatch early Friday that Mr. Cantor planned to step aside so his successor could hit Capitol Hill immediately if Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe calls a special election in November that would coincide with the general election.

“During this time of transition for me and my family, it is my foremost desire to ensure that representation is maintained for the people of the 7th District,” Mr. Cantor said, noting he asked the Democratic governor to accelerate the transition.

Mr. Cantor, who stepped down from his leadership post Thursday, lost his primary in June to Dave Brat, a tea party-backed professor.

Mr. Brat wished Mr. Cantor well on Friday and said he is gearing up to win November’s election and represent the district.