House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) suffered a stunning loss in a Republican primary to upstart tea party-backed David Brat, but is still on for a fundraiser in Quogue Saturday for Republican Lee Zeldin, the campaign said Wednesday.
"As far we know he's still coming out," Zeldin campaign manager Chapin Fay said Wednesday.
Cantor's willingness to campaign in the GOP primary in Suffolk's 1st Congressional District between Zeldin, a state senator from Shirley, and George Demos, a Ronkonkoma lawyer, carries particular significance: Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the House, and Zeldin would take over that role if nominated and elected in the fall.
"We certainly have Jewish support and Lee has put out early on a very pro-Israel position," Fay said. "Eric Cantor was the lone Jewish voice in the House, and that puts a little bit more importance on Lee."
After Cantor's defeat Tuesday night, Demos said in a statement: "Tonight liberal establishment politician Eric Cantor was crushed in his Republican Primary because of his vote to fully fund Obamacare."
Cantor's office did not respond to requests for comment. But in a news conference Wednesday, Cantor indicated he would hit the campaign trial for Republican candidates.
"While I will not be on the ballot in November, I will be a champion for conservatives across the country who are dedicated to preserving liberty and providing opportunity," he said. "I hope that all Republicans will put minor differences aside and help elect a Republican House and Senate . . . "
Saturday's fundraiser features Cantor at a $500-a-plate luncheon preceded by a $1,000-a-head VIP session, according to the invitation.