At a Glance
- Career History: House Minority Whip (2008-2011); House Deputy Minority Whip (2005-2009); House Deputy Majority Whip (2003 to 2005); U.S. House (since 2000); Virginia House of Representatives (1992 to 20000); Lawyer (1988 to 1992)
- Birthday: June 6, 1963
- Hometown: Richmond, Va.
- Alma Mater: George Washington University, BA, 1985; College of William and Mary, JD, 1988; Columbia University, MS, 1989
- Spouse: Diana
- Religion: Jewish
- DC Office: 329 Cannon Building, 202-225-2815
Path to Power
Cantor grew up in a wealthy family in Richmond, Va. His parents were both involved in the community; his father sat on the Housing Authority Board, and his mother was on the boards at the Family and Children's Trust Fund and the Science Museum of Virginia.
As a student at George Washington University, Cantor interned for then-Rep. Thomas Bliley (R-Va.), serving as his driver for his 1982 campaign. He went on to chair some of Bliley's re-election efforts. In his senior year, he worked for a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Cantor is a darling of the party's right wing - he has been labeled as a standout leader by the American Conservative Union, which gave him a 100 percent score on votes in 2007. He voted with his party 93 percent of the time in the 110th Congress.
The Republican has focused on lowering taxes for families and making America more business friendly. He is also a staunch supporter of Israel and opposed to illegal immigration. In 2008, he proposed a database that would allow police to check whether a suspect is an illegal immigrant.
Cantor was handpicked by Blunt for a leadership position, and John Boehner touts their close relationship, claiming that he is a "mentor" to Cantor. Cantor's chief deputy whip is Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
Cantor was one of Arizona Sen. John McCain's most vocal and visible supporters in the 2008 presidential campaign. He raised $10 million for McCain's coffers, reaching out particularly to Jewish and pro-Israel voters.