RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
A Primary election Tuesday in Virginia's 7th Congressional District will decide the Republican nominee for Congress this November.
The contest pits challenger Dave Brat versus incumbent Eric Cantor.
After unseating incumbent Republican Tom Bliley in 2001, Eric Cantor hasn't looked back. Shortly after his second term began he was appointed Chief Deputy Republican Whip. Today, Cantor serves as Majority Leader, second only to the Speaker of The House.
He defines himself as a conservative Republican.
"I'm really fighting for conservative solutions and the challenges that people are facing every day and I think that's what this election is really about-leadership," Cantor says. "Who can stand up for these kinds of things?"
Though branded by Cantor as a liberal, Brat, who's chaired the business and economics department at Randolph-Macon University, complains Cantor isn't conservative enough.
"We could have done better if we had people of principle there who aren't giving special breaks and TARP bailouts and special tax credits to billionaires instead of taking care of us," Brat says.
Cantor is confident he will prevail in Tuesday's primary.
"We'll look for a very strong win this primary and equally strong in the general election in November," he says.
Brat, hoping to attract disaffected voters in the 7th, hopes to be the spoiler.
"I'm running because Washington D.C. is broken from head to toe," Brat says.
Whoever wins Tuesday's primary has a strong chance to win the general election in November. A Democrat hasn't held the seat since 1971.