David Brat and Jack Trammell compete for Cantor’s seat — and hottest professor


College economics professor and Republican candidate for Congress David Brat, left. (Jay Paul/Getty Images) Jack Trammell, a professor at Randolph-Macon College, right. (Timothy C. Wright/For The Washington Post)

The two men vying for Eric Cantor’s seat are hot, according to their students.

David Brat, who defeated the House Majority Leader in the Republican primary in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, and his Democratic opponent Jack Trammell are professors at Randolph-Macon College in the sleepy college town of Ashland, Va.

Both are listed with a red chili pepper next to their name on RateMyProfessors.com, a Web site that allows students to post anonymous reviews of their college instructors. The rating means at least some of their students find them attractive — Brat more so.

In 2010, one of Brat’s commenters posted: “He’s total eye candy!”

Trammell, who teaches sociology, has an overall higher rating of 4.2. with students emphasizing his helpfulness. In 2008, one student hailed him as the “best professor ever!”

“I have never had a better professor,” the commenter wrote. “He is passionate about what he teaches and makes you want to learn. Take any and every class you can with him.”

Trammell’s only negative review claimed he “rambles” — perhaps something to watch out for during his campaign. However, his sample size is small – only five reviews.

Brat, an economics and business professor, has a lower rating of 3.4, but has nearly five times the reviews as Trammell. His most recent failure claimed he is “off subject often.”

Others called him “talented, humorous and helpful,” a “very animated teacher” and wrote that he is a “great guy, but almost too smart to teach.”

The two will face each other in the congressional election in November.

Randolph-Macon president Robert Lindgren said, “We are proud of both Dr. Brat and Dr. Trammell for their desire to serve our country and we wish them both the best of luck in November.”

So what do their teacher ratings really say about their potential performance in Congress? Perhaps nothing. But at least one of them showed where his priorities are.

The Washington Post reported last month that Brat missed two exclusive meetings with key conservative activists in Washington because he had academic obligations.

“He had stuff to take care of,” his campaign manager Zachary Werrell said last month. “It’s the week before finals.”

 

 

Lindsey Bever is a national news reporter for The Washington Post. She writes for the Morning Mix news blog. Tweet her: @lindseybever
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