Today in the election for VA 7th District GOP Chairman (House Leader Eric Cantor’s District), tea party challenger Fred Gruber defeated incumbent GOP veteran Linwood Cobb. This one wasn’t supposed to be close, as Cobb had the backing of the republican party insiders, and was considered to be safe from challenge. More on vote totals over at The Bull Elephant.

However, Gruber supporters worked tirelessly to get the word out about their candidate, making the personal connections with registered convention delegates and burning up the phones to garner support for Gruber. A bio on Gruber, from his campaign website:

Fred Gruber is an accomplished and successful entrepreneur and retired professional in the Financial Services and Investment Advisory fields.   He has been in numerous senior positions, most notably head of Trust Investments for the 3rd largest bank in NJ (United Jersey Banks); Managing Director of Fiduciary Counsel, Inc. on Wall Street; head of Trust Investments for half of VA at what is now Bank of America; and as a Partner in Chase Investment Counsel Corp. in Charlottesville. In 1997, he founded his own businesses.

Fred presently owns and operates SOUND ENTERPRISES and AppreCap Services, firms specializing in sales, marketing, financial services, and investment consulting to institutions and businesses.

He has a Bachelors degree in Economics, a Masters Degree in Business Administration/Finance & Investments (MBA), and is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). His 1974 Masters Thesis entitled “Security Options – Puts and Calls” was cited for distinction with top marks.

Fred is the leader of the Louisa VA Tea Party and active in the state Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation. He is a volunteer Jazz DJ at WTJU radio, hosts events in the 7th District with nationally-known conservative speakers, and is a life-long Republican.

Fred believes our Republican Party is our “last, best hope” for taking our Country back, and restoring our Founders’ visions. But Fred believes our Party is on the wrong track, and has been an outspoken advocate for the need to reform. He is running for 7th District Chairman on a mission to bring in new activists from the Tea Party, the Liberty movement, and pro-Family movement, and unite them with traditional Republicans to build a stronger GOP toward winning elections in our state and nationally.

Congratulations to all of Gruber’s campaign volunteers and convention delegates…you’ve proved that hard work and dedication CAN win the day. Does this portend of weakness in Eric Cantor’s bid to retain his 7th district seat in the House? We’ll see in about a month.

To Linwood Cobb and his supporters: We thank you for your service to the 7th, and for being engaged and willing to step forward into the political process. The 7th district is better when more people are involved.

Now on the Republican Convention in Roanoke on June 7th!