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Cantor to step down as House majority leader on July 31

U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor pauses while discussing his defeat in his Virginia Republican primary election during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 11, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON - Eric Cantor said on Wednesday he would resign as House majority leader on July 31 following his primary election loss on Tuesday.

"As of July 31, I will be stepping down as majority leader," Cantor told a news conference. He also said he would throw his support behind Representative Kevin McCarthy of California to be his successor as majority leader if McCarthy sought the post. McCarthy is currently the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives behind Speaker John Boehner and Cantor.