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Republican Who Beat Cantor Says His Campaign is ‘Unifying’ the GOP

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Tea Party challenger and economics professor Dave Brat attends the Midlothian Rotary Club breakfast at the Double tree Hotel to speak to the press, June 17, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. Brat beat Eric Cantor in the GOP primary for Virginia's 7th Congressional district. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)

Tea Party challenger and economics professor Dave Brat attends the Midlothian Rotary Club breakfast at the Double tree Hotel to speak to the press, June 17, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. Brat beat Eric Cantor in the GOP primary for Virginia’s 7th Congressional district. (Photo by Jay Paul/Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va. — Congressional candidate Dave Brat, who rode a tea party-fueled wave to an upset victory over U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, preached party unity Thursday and said his campaign represents all corners of the Republican Party.

Brat held a news conference Thursday outside his campaign headquarters, where he said his bid is built around support from longtime Republicans, tea partyers, independents and libertarians.

“This is precisely what this campaign is all about, from the beginning, we’re unifying all these different groups under one common set of principles,” said Brat, who was joined by about 40 supporters.

Brat announced that Amanda Chase, who worked on Cantor’s campaign in 2010, will be taking over as interim campaign manager. Brat’s primary campaign was managed by 23-year-old Zachary Werrell, who Brat said will stay on to help transition to the general campaign.

Brat, who has been keeping the media at a distance since his stunning upset win against Cantor in the 7th District’s GOP primary last week, did not take any questions from reporters. But he did push back against reports that he’s been avoiding the press.

“Contrary to media reports that we’ve been on vacation for a week, we’ve actually been trying to answer thousands of emails and phone calls we’ve received since last Tuesday,” Brat said.

Campaign spokesman Brian Gottstein said Brat will make himself available to reporters as the general campaign progresses.

Democrat Jack Trammell is set to face Brat in the fall. Both he and Brat teach at Randolph-Macon College.

Brat laid out part of campaign platform for the upcoming election, including a focus on instituting term limits.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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