RICHMOND, Va. (CNN/WRIC) – Republicans are not the only ones stunned by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s loss in the Virginia GOP Primary. So is the man who beat him: college professor and political novice Dave Brat, who has stayed out of sight since clinching the GOP nomination Tuesday.
CNN caught up with Brat as he left his Richmond home for the first time since the win. The newcomer says he just needs a moment to take it all in:
Reporter: “Good morning!”
Brat: “Good morning. I am not ignoring you and I respect you guys as professionals and everything. I will be out, but I need a few days to decompress after that election. So, I’m just going to spend a couple days with the family and I will be with you as soon as I can. Just so happy with the outcome of the election and I literally have 1,000 emails, 1,000 voicemails, so I’m just trying to catch up on everything. Alright?”
Reporter: “OK. Nothing you want to say about the future of the Republican party?”
Brat: “I’m just humbled that the people spoke and I think they want a new direction in Washington, D.C. And so if they think I’m a part of that, I’m absolutely humbled by the vote. That’s what I ran on. I just wanted to meet with people. And so I’m going to continue to meet with people from every spectrum out there in the 7th District and I’ll do my best to stay true to the pledges I made. I want to meet with constituents in every county, the nine counties in the city, and do my best job to represent them and that’s my pledge; that’s what I’m going to do.”
Brat pushed the hard-line conservative position on undocumented workers in his anti-establishment campaign, slamming Cantor’s support for proposals on issues around legal status. It gained him the support of the Tea Party.
Brat will go up against Democrat Jack Trammell—a fellow professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va.—in the November election for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.
Copyright 2014 by CNN and Young Broadcasting of Richmond