House Speaker John Boehner praised Majority Leader Eric Cantor
as "a good friend and a great leader" late Tuesday after his colleague lost to political newcomer Dave Brat in their Republican primary election in Virginia.
With 100 percent of the vote counted, Brat had 55.5 percent to Cantor's 44.5 percent.
"Eric Cantor and I have been through a lot together," the Ohio Republican said. "He's a good friend and a great leader — and someone I've come to rely upon on a daily basis as we make the tough choices that come with governing."
Boehner, 64, first came to the House in 1991. Cantor, 51, who arrived nine years later, was a deputy when Boehner was minority leader.
Cantor, who became majority leader after the 2012 elections, was considered a likely successor to Boehner should Boehner step down later this year.
"My thoughts are with him and Diana and their kids tonight," Boehner said.
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