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The Fallout from Frederick's Win

Tim Craig

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick's election today as the new chairman of Virginia Republican Party will likely lead to some big changes at GOP headquarters, including possibly a new executive director, according to party officials.

Under former lieutenant governor John H. Hager, who Frederick unseated today in the chairman's race, Charles E. Judd served as executive director.

"You will probably be hearing some news about that next week," said Frederick, who lives in Prince William County. "I ran to make changes, so we will be making some changes." He declined further comment.

It's unclear how national Republicans in Washington will react to Frederick's efforts to shake up the party in the middle of a presidential race.

For the first time in decades, Virginia could be a battleground this fall. Hoping to keep the state red, Hager, as well as Judd, had already begun meetings with Arizona Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign staff to coordinate strategy.

Frederick's win also poses a challenge for House Republican leaders in Richmond looking to keep their majority after next year's state legislative elections.

In an effort to win support in the chairman's race, Frederick sent out a letter last week saying, if he won today, he wouldn't seek reelection as delegate so he could spent more time on party business.

"I made a commitment to not run for reelection and at this point I plan to keep that commitment," said Frederick, who added, "but we will see how things shake out."

If Frederick keeps his promise, Democrats in Richmond will fight hard to pick up his eastern Prince William seat, which has been trending Democratic.

Democrats are just six seats shy of a majority in the House.

But Frederick and his wife, Amy, could put a wrinkle in Democrats' strategy if she becomes the Republican candidate for her husband's seat. Democrats would still heavily contest the race, but having the name "Frederick" on the ballot may improve the GOP's chances of retaining it.

"That seems to be what everyone wants to happen," Frederick said. "But we haven't discussed it and we will be keeping our options open."

By Tim Craig  |  May 31, 2008; 7:58 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , Election 2009 , Tim Craig  
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Comments

Given how Jeff Frederick and Bob Marshall were treated with such blatant contempt by the RPV staff, Jeff Frederick should clean house. Every single position should be vacated, and a new staff who are committed to supporting Jeff's winning strategy, should be selected from the top talent derived from a nationwide search.

Jeff will be building the GOP Twenty-First Century team, so this new staff will have to be tech-savvy, agile, well mannered and always fair to anyone competing for elected office.

The very first step that must be made in the direction of positive change, has been made by electing Jeff Frederick as Chairman. I would have to say that the next step is for all of the Virginia GOP Committee members to get behind Jeff Frederick's plan and to do all that can be done to help. So, fellow Republicans, ask not what the Party can do for you, ask what you can do for our Party!

Posted by: J. Tyler Ballance | May 31, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

It was an exciting day at the RPV convention, that's for sure.

And while the incredible "shake up" occurred during a Presidential election year, it was viewed by an overwhelming majority of the delegates as essential to ensure success in the upcoming Senate race this year and the Governor's race in '09.

RPV leadership has been struggling for years now and in the process has alienated many grassroots Republicans who have become frustrated with ineffective campaigns, anointed candidates, exclusion and the noticeable drift left of policy makers.

Jeff Frederick offered a plan and we took him up on it, because, after all, we are Republican for a reason.

Posted by: c. dickson | May 31, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

God help the RPV if Frederick's focus is on rebuilding the party around the likes of Ken Cuccinelli. I am a lifelong Republican with a strong belief sound fiscal policy and a focus on law and order, but abhor an activist social agenda. The RPV lost my vote years ago when it spent way too much time worrying about what goes on in people's bedrooms.

Posted by: Mike Sorce | May 31, 2008 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a big fan of having the government poking around in people's bedrooms either, but that's no reason to throw the baby out the bathwater!

And hi J. Tyler! Loved your post.

Posted by: Steven Latimer | June 1, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

If the RPV wants to put forth candidates in the mold of John Warner, Tom Davis and Lindsay Graham I would be all for it. But if the goal is to put into office the equivalent of Sam Brownback and Rick Santorum then I will continue to look elsewhere.

Posted by: Mike Sorce | June 1, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

For frederick to succeed he will have to limit RPV from anointing candidates before the grassroots get a chance to mack their own selection. The RPV will also need to focus on running better campaigns and expanding our base rather than just microtargeting.

As for the social issues, Mike you need to keep in mind that almost all of the conservative activism on "bedroom" issues began when they were brought into the classroom by liberal educators. In the 60s & 70s, the vast majority of religious conservatives were apolitical and tended to ignore alternate life styles outside thier community. But when the schools started force feeding permisive sexual ideas to their children, their parents became activated. You liberals cannot bring sex into the calssroom and expect to keep it out of the political arena.

Regarding John Warner, Tom Davis and Lindsay Graham -- While most of their issue positions are not unacceptable to conservatives, Warner and Davis are two of the most arrogant snobs in Va. and go out of their way to clarify their complete distain for anyone even 1 degree to their right while pandering regularly to everyone on their left. Neither one of them would have gained office without the initial support of people they have regularly sh-t on once in office. And lets face it, Tom Davis bypassed a run for Senate because he didn't want to work for the nomination (which he probably could have won given his fundraising skills) and is stepping down from Congress because he knows Jerry Connelly would clean his clock (probably with votes from people like Mike). Warner and Davis only run in easy races. We need leaders like Frederick who have learned how to win difficult ones.

Posted by: Woodbridge Va | June 1, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Well J. Tyler, as a Marylander looking at Virginia from a distance, I am confused about how you can be discerning a "winning strategy" from Frederick? It appears from the distance that the Republicans in Virginia are across the board on the run.

Posted by: Kim | June 1, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I think there's a Democratic Party mole in the Virginia GOP's smoke filled back room.

What other explanation could there be for the GOP continuing down the slippery slope to imploding self-destruction?

Posted by: Commentator | June 1, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The biggest failure of the Virginia Republicans was that they were not able to learn fron the Democrats and get Mark Warner to run for Senate.

Posted by: Carl | June 1, 2008 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Republican party of Virginia is a disaster. Gilmore will get beat like a rented mule by mark warner. Sad thing is that many of us don't realize it.

Posted by: Smith_Voter | June 3, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Rented mule? This isn't WEST Virginia.

Posted by: Kate | June 3, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

When I am president, everyone will have 40 square feet and a mule in our new paradise.

-Your Messiah

Posted by: Barack Hussein | June 3, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

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