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Congressman Eric Cantor Named To House Leadership - Virginia Congressman Appointed Chief Deputy Majority Whip (U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES) Monday December 2, 2002Source: http://www.cantorforcongress.com UNITED STATES CONGRESS UNITED STATES CONGRESS Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Richmond, VA ---- Congressman Eric Cantor was named today as the Chief Deputy Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives. Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo) made the announcement today in Washington.

The Chief Deputy Whip is the second in command of the House Whip Team. As Chief Deputy Whip, Cantor will be a key member of the Republican leadership team, responsible for the daily operations of the whip organization. These responsibilities include vote counting and ensuring the passage of legislation before the House of Representatives. The last two members who have previously served as Chief Deputy Majority Whip were Majority Whip Roy Blunt and House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

“Eric Cantor’s new role will give him a seat at the leadership table and his constituents a strong voice when important decisions are made. Having your congressman serve as Chief Deputy Majority Whip is a real win for Virginia’s Seventh District,” said Congressman Roy Blunt, House Majority Whip.

“I am enormously thankful that, through this appointment, Virginia will continue to have a seat at the House leadership table. I am eager to work with the entire Virginia congressional delegation to make certain that our Commonwealth’s priorities continue to receive a full and fair hearing,” said Congressman Cantor.

Congressman Cantor will begin his duties as Chief Deputy Majority Whip when the 108th Congress begins in January.


WASHINGTON - Rep. Eric I. Cantor of Virginia has vaulted onto the House Republican leadership team after just two years in Congress.

Cantor is a partisan and ambitious 39-year-old lawyer and former developer from the Richmond area. He was named chief deputy majority whip by Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the new majority whip, it was announced yesterday.

The announcement reflected Cantor´s status as a rising star within his party as well as increasing influence for Virginia´s congressional delegation in the upcoming term of Congress.

"Eric has been a star member of the whip organization since day one, and I am pleased that he has agreed to do this critical job," Blunt said.

Blunt recently was elected by House Republicans to the majority whip post after the man holding it, Tom DeLay of Texas, was chosen majority leader.

Cantor has served as an assistant whip on the DeLay team. He has developed a strong relationship with DeLay, who traveled to Richmond in March to address a Cantor fund-raising breakfast.

The only Jewish Republican in the House come January, Cantor is pro- defense and a staunch supporter of Israel. DeLay said earlier this year, "On the Israeli issue, Eric is the first member I turn to."

Cantor said yesterday he was "flattered, humbled and taken aback" when he learned of his appointment Friday. He described Blunt as "a tremendous leader with a vision" and said he looked forward to helping "ensure our national security, expand our economy, and advance the best interests of the American taxpayer."

The House Republican whip operation includes 15 to 20 deputy and 45 to 50 assistant whips. It lines up support for the Republican agenda, from sounding out lawmakers to counting votes in advance to making sure they show up and vote right.

Virginia could benefit from his role. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R- 11th District, is leaving a leadership post as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Also in January, Republican Sen. John W. Warner is expected to gain the Armed Services Committee chairmanship. Sen. George Allen recently was picked to head the National Republican Senatorial Committee. In the House, Davis is seeking to chair the Government Reform Committee and Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, R-6th, the Agriculture Committee.

Blunt became chief deputy majority whip at the beginning of his second term, as Cantor now prepares to do. Another prominent Republican who held the chief deputy majority whip job is House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert.

Cantor to pull up chair at the House ´leadership table´

Fredericksburg-area Rep. Eric Cantor is named House chief deputy majority whip.

The Free Lance-Star

Rep. Eric Cantor was named yesterday to the House Republican leadership team.

The 7th District congressman--who represents Orange, Culpeper and parts of Spotsylvania and Caroline counties--was named chief deputy majority whip. He´ll report to Majority Whip-elect Roy Blunt of Missouri.

Cantor said the post will allow him to be in on important congressional decisions. "I now will have a seat at the leadership table," he said.

The job is the highest appointed leadership position; the other leaders are elected by their peers.

The Republican and Democratic whips keep track of legislation and ensure party members are present when important items are up for a vote. The majority whip is the third-ranking member of the House leadership, behind the speaker and the majority leader.

Cantor, who was overwhelming elected to a second term last month, said he will be at the head of a team of about 15 deputy whips and 30 assistant whips. He served in the latter position during his first term in office.

"Eric has been a star member of the whip organization since day one, and I am pleased that he has agreed to do this critical job," Blunt said in a prepared statement.

Blunt served as chief deputy majority whip for the past four years before being elected to the top whip position last month.

University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato said the post is a boon for Cantor, even if it is a secondary position on the leadership team.

"That´s impressive for a sophomore," Sabato said.

Blunt is likely to serve as majority whip for a long time, Sabato said, so Cantor won´t necessarily be in line for that job anytime soon. But he said Cantor should have a chance to become a committee chairman in the future.

Cantor is articulate and carries himself well, Sabato said. And he will be the sole Jewish Republican in Congress when the body reconvenes next month.

The Jewish vote has been solidly Democratic for years, Sabato said, but more and more Jews are voting for the GOP.

"That is very significant for Republicans," he said. (12/03/02)

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