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Cantor says he'll resign sooner than expected

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Dec 2011: House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., pauses during a news conference on the payroll tax cut on Capitol Hill. (AP)

U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor tells a Virginia newspaper he will resign his seat in the House of Representatives months earlier than expected.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported early Friday that Cantor says he will step down Aug. 18 to make sure constituents have a voice during the "consequential" lame-duck session.

Cantor tells the newspaper he has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincides with the Nov. 4 general election. That would enable his successor to take office immediately.

Cantor's announcement comes hours after he stepped down as House majority leader Thursday. Cantor had previously said he would serve his full term, which would have ended in January.

Cantor lost to Dave Brat, an underfunded, tea party-backed opponent, in his Republican primary in June.