Nothing important happens in Henrico. We live the normal suburban life; we might have some class or racial strife, mostly about school funding, but none surpassing the usual. The large county encompasses the capital of the South: Richmond, Virginia, the one that still believes we are fighting the War of Northern Aggression. Recently, Virginia has become a swing state, and in doing so, has become a battleground for political candidates, featuring many campaign visits from both Obama and Romney in the 2012 election season. But one of our biggest claims-to-fame in Washington was Eric Cantor, Representative of the seventh district and Majority Leader of the Republican Party in the United States House of Representatives.
But last night, I believe my county, the seventh district, and the country, were in an overwhelming amount of shock when Cantor lost his primary, and with it, his seat and title. And I, along with my fellow constituents, was surprised. Cantor’s views may not be the most popular in this area, but we held power—an intoxicating power. We joked that Cantor was the basis for the infamous Frank Underwood, the protagonist of House of Cards, and enjoyed debating his views. Two weeks ago, thirty of my classmates and I sat upon the Capitol’s steps, taking photos and asking him questions on legislation and policy. It seems to me that two weeks ago, we, as a district, held a great deal of national influence, but now our influence is dwindling. It is unknown what November’s election day may bring—all we know is that two economics professors from Randolph Macon College, a small school in a small town, will compete for Cantor’s old seat. But come January, the Republican Party will have new leadership, and with new blood comes new views. The tides are turning, not only for Henrico, but also for the Republican Party and for the country. After a fourteen-year rule of the seventh district and two terms as House Majority Leader, Cantor will move on to the next stage in his life, and so will the Republican Party.