WASHINGTON — Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the No. 2 House Republican, will resign his leadership position within weeks, according to leadership aides. The move follows a stunning defeat in a primary election Tuesday in which voters rejected him in favor of a more conservative candidate.
The move culminated a precipitous fall for Mr. Cantor, who was thought to be a likely successor to Speaker John A. Boehner.
By stepping down as majority leader, an aide to Mr. Cantor said, he hoped to limit a festering struggle within the House Republican caucus over who would assume his post.
Mr. Cantor attended a meeting with other members of the leadership Wednesday morning in advance of a larger meeting of Republican members set for 4 p.m. He definitively told aides and other Republican leaders that he would not mount a write-in campaign this fall against the Tea Party candidate, David Brat, who defeated him soundly in the Virginia Republican primary.