WASHINGTON -- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) $25,000 donation to an anti-incumbent super PAC has become the gift that keeps on giving. But not in the way he had hoped.
Less than a week after news broke of Cantor cutting a check to the Campaign for Primary Accountability, a group focused on defeating incumbent members of Congress, Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) was back in his district dodging questions about whether he agreed with Cantor's decision to influence the race between two GOP incumbents, fellow Illinois Reps. Don Manzullo and Adam Kinzinger. Both were lumped into the same district after redistricting. Kinzinger, a freshman, ultimately defeated the 10-term Manzullo with the help of Cantor's money.
"I chose not to get involved in that race," Hultgren told reporters at an unrelated local press conference on Wednesday, according to Crain's Chicago Business.
Asked if he supported Cantor getting involved in the primary race between two incumbents, Hultgren said, "We'll still have the opportunity to talk this through further. The race outcome wasn't very close. I'll leave it up to the voters."
Pressed again on whether Cantor made a bad call in trying to influence a race between two members of his House Republican conference, Hulgren replied, "That's something we'll have to talk about further."
Cantor has gotten in hot water not just for intervening in the Manzullo-Kinzinger primary, but also for giving money to a super PAC that appears to be using his funds for other campaigns it is involved in -- including primaries targeting some of his allies.
Cantor's $25,000 donation has also become a talking point in a Democratic primary race in which the Campaign for Primary Accountability is involved. Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), a target of the super PAC, on Wednesday trashed his Democratic primary challenger Beto O'Rourke for what he said amounts to taking money from Cantor.
"At the end of the day, the same Campaign for Primary Accountability that is supporting Beto O'Rourke is being funded by right-wing ideologues and people like Eric Cantor," Reyes spokesman Jose Borjon said. "A lot of the positions by Beto O'Rourke are similar, if not identical, to Eric Cantor."