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Cantor purged from local GOP committee

Cantor purged from local GOP committee
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Oct. 12, 2011. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other leading Virginia Republicans have been purged from their local party committees.

The reason is their endorsement of Bill Janis, a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates who is conducting an independent campaign to unseat Matthew Geary, the incumbent commonwealth's attorney in Henrico County, The Washington Post reported Friday. State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and House Speaker Bill Howell are also out, at least temporarily.

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The mass expulsions do not mean the Republican Party is rallying around Geary, who is mired in a scandal over an adulterous affair. Dave Rexrode, executive director of the state party, said party rules require the removal of any party committee members who endorse a non-Republican in a contested election.

Rexrode said expulsion is automatic while reinstatement takes a vote by the party committee. He said that is unlikely to happen until after the election Nov. 8, when Janis' party affiliation will be moot.

Gov. Bob McDonnell has not endorsed Janis or Geary in Henrico County, which includes the Richmond area.

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