Eric Cantor Takes Nothing for Granted

Lone Jewish Republican Fights Hard in Safe District

Running Hard: Eric Cantor represents a safe Republican seat in Virginia. But in a tricky political climate, he is campaigning harder than ever.
nathan guttman
Running Hard: Eric Cantor represents a safe Republican seat in Virginia. But in a tricky political climate, he is campaigning harder than ever.

By Nathan Guttman

Published October 10, 2012, issue of October 12, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Dozens of yard signs supporting Eric Cantor’s run for re-election lined the road leading to the Virginia Republican Roundup election rally. Cantor, who hosted the event — a combination political gathering and country fair — is considered one of the strongest forces helping struggling Republican candidates throughout the country.

Wayne Powell
Wayne Powell

Yet here was Cantor making a rare foray into retail politics with his own constituents.

This year, Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, is spending a bit more time on his own campaign.

Facing a spirited Democratic challenger and an overall low approval rating for Congress and congressional Republicans, Cantor, the House Majority Leader and six-term congressman, even agreed to debate his rival, a rare move in itself for a congressional leader.

“We’ve always taken races seriously,” Cantor told the Forward, adding he is sure his district remains strongly conservative.

Experts and polling data support Cantor’s claim. Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which includes parts of the capital, Richmond, and its suburbs, is solidly Republican and has become even more so after this year’s redistricting.

This support was apparent at the October 6 Republican Roundup, which was attended by 6,000 of the area’s GOP supporters. Families, sending off their children to jump on the inflatable moon bounce or to stand in line for a bean bag toss and face painting, waited to greet Cantor and his fellow Virginia candidate former governor George Allen, who is now running for the Senate.

“I’m a conservative Republican and formerly a big liberal,” stated Adrienne Haine, who moved to Richmond four decades ago from Brooklyn. A strong believer now in small government, Haine admitted she does not know of many other fellow Jewish voters who support Cantor. “The lack of support he gets from the Jewish community is a disgrace,” said Haine, proudly showing off the Cantor and Romney stickers on her shirt.

Ever since his first run for Congress in 2000, Cantor has received strong backing from his district. His election majorities have ranged from 59% in 2010 to a high of 75% in 2004.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.