David Brat's academic website is bordered with portraits of four economists and one theologian: Adam Smith, John Calvin, John Maynard Keynes, and Friedrich Hayek.
Brat, who chairs the economics and business department at Randolph-Macon College, can add a new line to his CV: defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a shocking upset Tuesday night.
But to assume Cantor's seat representing Virginia's 7th District, Brat first has to defeat his Democratic opponent — and fellow professor. Jack Trammell, a sociology professor and the director of disability services, has taught at Randolph-Macon College — a 1,300-student Methodist college outside Richmond — for more than a decade. Four other Randolph-Macon professors have gone on to serve in Congress, including Randy Forbes, who currently represents Virginia's 4th District.
In sociology, education is often championed as the best path to a vibrant society — an idea Trammell clearly subscribes to. He is running on a platform of college access, student-loan forgiveness, and special-education reform. In 2012, Trammell published a book, The Richmond Slave Trade: The Economic Backbone of the Old Dominion. (More recently, he has planned to write a vampire novel.) Trammell's ancestor, Thomas Trammell, was an indentured servant when he arrived in Fairfax in 1671.