The Washington Post

Chaos erupts at Cantor’s election night headquarters after his departure

On the night House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost to tea party candidate David Brat in the Virginia's House Republican primary, demonstrators called for immigration reform outside his rally at the Westin Hotel in Richmond. (CASA de Virginia)

As if the political drama were not powerful enough, chaos erupted at election night headquarters shortly after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor conceded his stunning defeat to tea party-backed conservative David Brat.

Cantor addressed his supporters for about four minutes at a suburban Richmond hotel ballroom, then boarded an SUV without taking questions from reporters scurrying after him.

Then it got really rambunctious. In the room of downcast Cantor allies, a new energy suddenly erupted — but not the kind they wanted on election night. A group of immigration activists stormed the ballroom, screaming and waving a flag. “What do we want? Immigration reform! When do we want it? Now!”

A few Cantor supporters tried to block the protesters’ entrance into the ballroom, and pushing and shoving ensued. And before they reached the microphone, one Cantor supporter threw his glass of wine at a female protester. She swore at him in return.

A hotel employee took the microphone Cantor had used and told the protesters in Spanish that the police were on their way.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) gives his concession speech after a shocking upset to Tea Party favorite David Brat. (NBC 12 Richmond)

Uponarrival, police told the protesters that they would be arrested if they did not leave immediately.

Another Spanish-speaking man who was with the protesters told them that they had made their point and should follow the police direction to leave.

They did so, but in the parking lot a Cantor supporter yelled, “Get a job!” to an immigration reform advocate who was wrapped in an American flag.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.



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