Washington is reeling today after House majority leader Eric Cantor lost his primary race to an underfunded college economics professor. The upset, which completely shocked every pundit in D.C., came after a Cantor internal poll had the Congressman leading challenger Dave Brat 62%-28%. Cantor outspent Brat 40-1. No House majority leader had ever been beaten in a primary before.
Behind this stunner? Zachary Werrell, 23, managed Brat’s campaign to victory in only his second paid politics job. This time last year, Werrell was graduating from Haverford College. He was operating using a flip phone he purchased at Wal-Mart: “The cheapest one I could find,” he told the Los Angeles Times.
Werrell graduated from Haverford with a Bachelors in political science and economics. His only job before was working for Mark Berg, who won his race for a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates last year. “I am Dave Brat’s campaign manager to take out Eric Cantor in the Republican Primary,” Werrell writes on his LinkedIn page. “I do everything listed in my previous job, but with 10 times greater frequency and intensity.” He was one of just two paid staffers on the campaign.
Brat faces another college professor, Democratic nominee Jack Trammell, in the fall.