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Eric Cantor Suffers Major Defeat in his Own District as Conservative Fred Gruber Defeats Cantor’s Man Cobb

Folks, let me just say, this victory for Fred Gruber as the new Chairman of Eric Cantor’s 7th Virginia Congressional District is as big a political story as we have seen in Virginia since the Republicans swept the top three state offices in 2009 with Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli winning the day.

This victory for Gruber today has implications that are far greater than this single victory. And my take on that will be the subject for a separate post as it deserves to be told on it’s own.

This was a very contentious day to say the least and it started at 7:30 AM for me as I arrived at the Hilton Hotel to start the prep work for the Convention. The first thing that was impossible to miss was the impressive number of Cantor signs that seemed to be spaced inches apart down the long entrance road and all over every inch of ground everywhere you looked. It was a sea of Cantor red that nearly matched the sea of red ink Cantor has drowned the nation with.

How fitting, I thought.

I was a Delegate for Fred Gruber and a Teller for him as well. The job of Teller is to make sure there is no cheating or improper shenanigans during the process and to bird dog the ballots and be present for the counting and make sure everything is done correctly.

I checked in with the Gruber table to get my “Teller” badge and the information they were passing out about the proceedings. I proceeded to the desk to pick up my Delegate Credentials and was a bit disappointed that, in spite of being ready to go, they would not give out the first credential until 8:00 AM sharp. I guess rules are rules, but whatever.

I mingled and said hello to a number of friends and fellow Conservatives and then headed over to the Empty Chair Debate across the street between an absentee Eric Cantor and a very present Dave Brat. I would suggest that you read the post here by Steven Brodie Tucker for coverage of that “debate”. But I will say, I think the folks over at Boring Drift that I call the Drifty Boys got it wrong. As is typical of Eric Cantor Zombies, Brian “Big Bird” Schoeneman declare the empty chair the winner without even being present. But the truth is, Eric Cantor WAS asked one question. And he failed to answer it. And I asked the question. “Congressman Cantor, What comes after a trillion?”

(Cue the crickets.)

Winner: Dave Brat. (And Doc Thompson was his usual witty self!)

Ok, back across the street for the Convention.

Headed inside the meeting hall and made my way up to the front of the Hanover Delegation where the ballot boxes were being kept by the Hanover Republican Committee Chairman Nancy Russell. It should be noted that Russell sent out a mailer requesting that the recipient support Linwood Cobb, the Cantor friend and long time pocket pal of the Congressman. So, the Chairman had a horse in this race and declare that before the event. So I made sure that I was especially vigilant.

The first order of business was to select a temporary chairman because we couldn’t have Linwood Cobb, the current chairman, in charge of his own reelection proceedings. So Cobb recognized one of his friends who placed the name of Delegate Manny Loupassi (one of the 43 Republicans who voted for the massive Bob McDonnell tax hike) to be the temporary chair until the vote was decided.

A second name was placed in nomination, that of Russ Moulton, the gentleman that did such a brilliant and fair job at the Henrico Mass Meeting that thwarted Eric Cantor’s attempt at slating.

Linwood Cobb immediately ruled that motion out of order and mentioned a last second rule change that required a temporary chairman to live in the district. According to a number of people that know more than I do about the apparently “set in jello” rules, that was not correct. I spoke with Pat McSweeney briefly and he was concerned that this may be grounds for a possible appeal. But that was not going to happen today.

So someone nominated a gentleman named Gits. Few people knew him and while the Cantor/Cobb people were ready with the “Eric Cantor supports Loupassi” and “Linwood Cobb supports Loupassi” signs, nobody on the Gruber side thought to make up a Gits sign. I was told Gits was a very articulate Conservative and an acceptable nominee, so we used legal paper and pen to write the name Gits on and let people know when it was time to vote who Fred Gruber supported.

I will have to admit, I believed that Loupassi would easily win this vote and even more important, this would give us a gauge of the support Gruber had at the Convention.

This vote was taken, at least in Hanover, on a row by row basis. We had 228 Delegates casting 325 votes (the votes are weighted) so this was a slow and confusing process, especially since we were not expecting a problem with Russ Moulton’s nomination. The vote was counted by asking “all those for Loupassi” in a single row to stand, they were counted, and then asked to sit, and the votes for Gits were asked to stand in the first row and be counted. And that proceeded in the noisy hall until all the votes were counted.

I don’t think this vote was very accurate since there was so much confusion on not only who people were voting for, but why they were even voting.

But when the votes were counted, Loupassi won and that was that. But the interesting thing was the margin. Loupassi won by about 24 votes. That was the first measure of the room we had.

There was a bit of loud screams and protests when the “rules committee” reported that every Delegate had been given a copy of the rules. Nobody had, but they rammed that down our throats and moved on amid the chorus of boos.

So, the rest proceeded without a lot of trouble, there were speeches by a number of candidates including Shak Hill running for US Senate, Mark Obenshain for Ed Gillespie (also US Senate) and both Dave Brat and Eric Cantor. Dave Brat was well received and he had several instances where the room erupted in applause, and when he talked about Eric Cantor’s record and Cantor’s amendment to exempt his own wife from the new insider trading laws, some of the Cantor Zombies booed. I am not sure why they would support a Congressman exempting his wife from the rules and laws the rest of us have to follow. I found that quite puzzling.

And then Fred Gruber was introduced by Pat McSweeney who said a few words about Gruber followed by Jamie Radtke who likewise gave Gruber a glowing review, and finally Gruber spoke. His was a message of unity and working together. And getting rid of the efforts to exclude Republicans from voting that Eric Cantor has been doing.

Next, Eric Cantor got up to speak and it was his typical stump speech that I have heard for years now. “I opposed Obamacare” I opposed this and I opposed that. And he accused his opponent Dave Brat of “missing in action” on Obamacare. That was the beginning of the boos Cantor was to hear. Brat is a Conservative Economics Professor and he is a free market proponent and was not in Congress. So I am not sure what action Cantor was expecting. And then he began using the same lies that even the Huffington Post has rated as false. And line after line was met with boos from the delegates. VERY LOUD at times.

Let me just note. I have heard Eric Cantor speak so many times I have lost count. I have never heard him talk to a group of people that were not known to be Cantor supporters. The man simply does not speak to unfriendly audiences. He became visibly rattles and stumbled and sputtered with his delivery, unable to process the reaction of an audience not composed of primarily Eric Cantor Zombies.

It is widely reported that Eric Cantor is not very articulate, even whiny in his delivery and has spent a fortune on speech coaches to overcome his ineptitude at speaking.

By the end of the speech, Cantor was a mess. He was visibly out of his element.

Ok – now on to the counting. After all the ballots were collected and the delegate badges were all punched to indicate casting a vote, a group of about 7 or 8 of us – Gruber Tellers as well as Cobb Tellers and Nancy Russell went out into the hall to count the ballots.

First we sorted the folded small ballots into Gruber votes and Cobb votes. Then we counted them into stacks of 10 each and counted.

First the Cobb votes and we totaled 83. These were counted, recounted, verified and double checked.

Next we counted the Gruber votes. We totaled 146. These were counted, recounted, verified and double checked.

And there was a single ballot, neatly folded without a mark on it. 1 under-vote.

Then we did the math. We had 228 Delegates and collected 230 ballots cast, including the under-vote.

We went through them again. Same result.

By now the crowd was getting antsy. Hanover was the very last unit to report. And everyone was waiting.

I walked over to get some water nearby the counting table and spoke to someone who had been at the table where they were adding up the numbers. I told him the issue we were having and the vote totals and he said that with all the other units totaled, Gruber won and Hanover was the last. Since Gruber won Hanover nearly 65% to 35% that vote was not going to make a difference. So we decided to take what we have to the head Teller and let him worry about what to do.

At that point I was cautiously optimistic for Fred Gruber. If what I was hearing was accurate, this was a huge upset win for Conservatives.

I accompanied Nancy Russell and the ballots to the Head Teller table and verified that she turned in the proper and accurate totals. I will say, while there were some anxious moments at times, Russell handled the duties without error, despite the two irregular ballots. She was as accurate and fair as was humanly possible under difficult circumstances and a lot of pressure with people like me watching her every move.

It was interesting watching Ray Allen, the architect of all of the discord¬† in the Virginia Republican Party and half of the Marcus and Allen Consulting firm that Cantor has used for many years. Boyd Marcus, you may recall, endorsed the horrific Terry McAuliffe and became a turncoat in last November’s election. And Ray Allen is still Cantor’s attack machine behind the lies and nasty mailers we all know and love.

Ray Allen was desperately moving his fingers around the little calculator going over the numbers again and again and again hoping for different results. Which is not unlike the Zombies that vote for Cantor over and over again thinking maybe this time ….

Ok, I enjoyed seeing Allen sweat a little too much. No. That’s not true. I enjoyed watching him lose with ever fiber of my being. Getting this man out of Virginia Politics would be more beneficial than defeating Obama. That is an honest truth.

So as soon as the Head Teller crunched the numbers over and over again, checked and double checked the totals he wrote on the legal pad with the totals on the forms turned in by each unit, and was satisfied that the counting was done, I looked at the numbers.

Fred Gruber 686, Linwood Cobb 635. That works out to 52% to 48%.

And I headed back to the back of the room to await the announcement and the reaction and I happened to see Fred Gruber sitting on an aisle seat.  I bent down and told him the results and was officially the first person to congratulate him and shake his hand on being the new 7th District Chairman.

And the look on his face said it all. I wish I had a camera to capture that.

The announcement came and the cheers were defining. People were literally running around the room, many with tears of joy streaming down their cheeks randomly hugging other Gruber supporters before running to the next hug.

And the stunned Cantor supporters couldn’t leave the place fast enough.

The dismantlement of the Eric Cantor machine has begun. Linwood Cobb is the first victim in the fight to restore Liberty to Virginia and the nation.

Onward. The Conservatives win the day.


About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

15 Responses to “Eric Cantor Suffers Major Defeat in his Own District as Conservative Fred Gruber Defeats Cantor’s Man Cobb”

  1. Sara says:

    Great write up Tom!
    Oh, to have been there.

  2. Gene Lefty says:

    Very good coverage, well written.

    I wish they would make who voted for who public.

    Kick out the rat, vote for Brat!

  3. Cut DC says:

    Dude, this was one of the more gratifying things I’ve ever witnessed! Especially seeing 2/3 of the participants loudly boo every single lie Cantor told. He was very rattled & his whining got more prevalent w/ every single word.

  4. Wow. I did not think Gruber had a ghost of a chance. And he won. Amazing. Congrats Fred Gruber!


  5. Stanley Baker says:

    It’s unfortunate to read about stories like this in Virginia politics. Do you honestly think that this is good for Virginia Republicans? Have we looked at the current statewide office holders? We don’t have a horse in the race. We are drifting farther and farther away from the average person that doesn’t have time to pay attention to politics regularly. The disagreements that we have between each other pale in comparison to those on the other side of the political isle. Eric Cantor is a solid conservative that has represented the 7th district with class. I hope that Mr. Gruber will do what’s best for the 7th district and work with our Congressman.

    • Molly Fitzhugh says:

      Hopefully Gruber won’t have to work with the ultra corrupt crony capitalist Cantor after June 10th & will be able to work with the much more ethical Dave Brat.

      The only person I see “drifting away” is Cantor, drifting far far away from his constituents.

  6. Major says:

    I rec’vd the endorsement letter for Cobb from Ms. Russell as well and wondered if it was her personal endorsement or the group endorsement of the Hanover GOP?

    The envelope had her name & own personal return address label on it but she had her Hanover Republican Committee Chairman title listed after her name.

    It made me wonder if this is ethical & honest?

  7. Jeanine Martin

    Great Post Tom! And a great day for Freedom in Virginia!

  8. Robert Shannon

    Setting aside the Media and their deference, cowardice or collusion those of us who toil daily in the Patriot movement know instinctively that the only thing that can overcome a major money advantage is the grass roots, which will be inspired to the point of now sending this pathetic excuse of a Congressman into retirement, at least political retirement. Certainly all of his and his wife’s Pal’s on K street will see to it he is looked after.
    Bob Shannon Founder of the Mechanicsville TEA Party

  9. frank papcin says:

    now will the losers stand up with the winner or fight for the democrats to spite their faces?–like some in this state are constantly doing

  10. mjnellett says:

    ALL the go along to get along ‘REPUBLICANS” like Cantor, Boehner, and company need to go. We have seen the GOP in Congress give away too much of our money and liberty just to appease the powers that be in D.C. No more!

  11. ColdWarrior says:

    Audio and video of Cantor’s performance and the boos, etc.:

    Thank you.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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