Eric Cantor, A Jewish congressman from Virginia who was once thought to be a possible vice presidential pick for Arizona Senator John McCain's campaign , was elected on Wednesday as a House minority whip.

Minority whip is the second highest position in the minority party. Cantor has served as the chief deputy whip since 2002.

"As a rising star in the Republican party and an outstanding legislator, Rep. Cantor is a source of tremendous pride for the Jewish community," Republican Jewish Coalition official Matt Brooks said.

"While the many challenges facing this country, and our party, are daunting, with Rep. Cantor taking on new leadership responsibilities as House minority whip, this is an occasion to be hopeful and to look towards the future."