In the wake of yesterday’s historic upset, Americans are scrambling to find out who exactly is David Brat, the man who defeated the House majority leader in the primary elections.
Before beginning his political career, Brat was a conservative economics professor at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. Three years ago, Brat ran for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, but was passed over in favor of Eric Cantor, according to the New York Times.
This time, however, Brat defeated Cantor by appealing to Virginians in a way that Cantor could not. The tea party candidate’s academic has centered around capitalism and ethics and has largely influenced his political ideology, which stands in direct opposition to “crony capitalism and the Wall Street ‘crooks’ who, in his eyes, cheat and destroy a beautiful system,” according to the Washington Post.
He opposes immigration reform and federal education policies such as the Common Core standards and No Child Left Behind, and he is highly critical of what he sees as market manipulation on Wall Street. He aligns himself with Ayn Rand and Protestantism, and he defines himself as pro-free market and anti-crony capitalism.
His opinions on minimum wage may be a bit more nuanced. When asked for an position on a federal minimum wage on MSNBC, he responded, “I don’t have a well-crafted response on that one,” according to the New York Times. He went on to say that “you cannot artificially make up wage rates,” according to the Washington Post. Some are interpreting this as an unpreparedness, but others argue that it’s just good economic sense.
Regardless of how Brat implements his political ideology in the future, simply displacing Cantor will have long-lasting implications for Congress and for the Obama administration.