RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The second most powerful man in the U.S. House has been thrown out on his ear.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia has lost his primary re-election bid to a little-known, tea party-backed Republican challenger who ran on opposition to immigration law.

Economics professor David Brat says his stunning upset is "a miracle from God that just happened."

Cantor told supporters in they had come up short in the effort to seek an eight term representing the 7th District. It's majority Republican and includes portions of suburban Richmond.

Cantor's defeat was the first primary setback for a senior leader in Congress in recent years.

Democrats seized on the upset as evidence that their fight for House control this fall is far from over. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says Cantor represented extreme policies and "debilitating dysfunction."

In the fall, Brat will face Democrat Jack Trammel, also a professor at Randolph-Macon College, in suburban Richmond.

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