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Former GOP chair rains on McDonnell parade

Far from the ballroom in Richmond where GOP big shots such as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele were gathering in hopeful anticipation of a landslide sweep at the top of the ticket, Del. Jeffrey M. Frederick, the former head of Virginia's Republican Party, was toweling off after a swim.

And then he was dropping off his nanny at night school.

And then Frederick, who was sacked last summer in a purge led by other GOP officials who believed he was too conservative and might alienate voters, was going home.

But at the end of an otherwise ordinary day--dropping off his daughter at school, voting, going to work, talking to poll workers here and there in his district--Frederick, who declined to seek reelection this year, suggested that one thing was still be very alive among his political interests: an animus for Bob McDonnell, the governor elect and the figure whom Frederick blames most for his premature departure from politics.

"Bob McDonnell did not win this election by himself," Frederick said by telephone. "He won this election because of what's happening in Washington. The question is what's going to happen to the party after this year."

Asked whether he voted for McDonnell in the end, Frederick replied: "The only comment I'll make is, I had at least one write-in vote today."

--Fredrick Kunkle

By Anne Bartlett  |  November 3, 2009; 8:34 PM ET
 
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