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Frederick Declines to Run for GOP Leader

Anita Kumar

Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell is breathing a sigh of relief this afternoon.

Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, ousted chairman of the Republican Party, just announced that he will not run for party leader at the state convention later this month.

McDonnell supported Frederick's removal last month and, according to Republican leaders, had told Frederick that he would support his re-election campaign for House of Delegates if he agreed not to run for chairman.

Frederick of Prince William County said today he would not run for re-election to the House. His wife Amy planned to run, but last week she withdrew from the race.

In an email to supporters, Frederick said he thinks he would be successful if he ran for chairman, but the party's governing board would continue to oppose the changes that he thinks need to be made.

"Reclaiming the chairmanship without replacing the entrenched party 'leadership' would likely result in failure - and putting the energy and sacrifice I did into being chairman isn't worth a futile effort,'' he wrote. "My mission as chairman was to advance our beliefs, articulate our vision, and win elections. A party firmly in the hands of the grassroots can accomplish this. A party controlled by a few insiders cannot. It is just that simple. Sadly, I don't see that changing any time soon."

After Frederick's announcement, McDonnell sent out a statement: "I thank Jeff for his service to the Republican Party and to the citizens of Prince William County. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors."

Frederick encouraged his supporters to oppose Pat Mullins, selected as chairman Saturday by the party's State Central Committee, when he runs for re-election May 30.

Party rules require Mullins -- former leader in Louisa and Fairfax counties -- to run again later this month when 8,000 to 10,000 activists gather in Richmond for the party's state convention May 30.

The State Central Committee voted to fire Frederick last month after he was accused of directing business to his own company, spending party money for unbudgeted purposes without approval, refusing to coordinate with Republican presidential nominee John McCain's campaign and making embarrassing political gaffes.

By Anita Kumar  |  May 4, 2009; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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"Frederick encouraged his supporters to oppose Pat Mullins, selected as chairman Saturday by the party's State Central Committee, when he runs for re-election May 30" Disappointing that Frederick would go out by not running, but asking for his supporters to cause trouble at the convention. What if they think Mullins is a good choice to replace him? Why automatically vote against him? Not a good way for someone who considers themselves a leader to go out.

Posted by: DaveCheney | May 4, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

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