Congrats Brandon for sniffing this one out last week. Jeff's announcement is below.
Dear Fellow Virginia Republican:
From the very beginning of my campaign for Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV), I have recognized the day may come when I would need to demonstrate my commitment to the well being of the Party as a whole, even at the expense of my own political career.
Friends, that day has come.
I want to thank Misters Cobb, Malek, and Neel for their recent letter. After careful consideration of their opinion, those of others, and much prayer, I have decided that I will not seek re-election to the House of Delegates if I am elected RPV Chairman. This is something I have considered for some time and have not been opposed to, but the Cobb/Malek/Neel letter articulated the issue well, and I agree.
With the loss of 9 seats in the General Assembly in just the last 6 months alone, and RPV finishing 5th in fundraising to four Democratic committees last year, the risk is too great for me to not make the tough decision to eliminate any objections to my candidacy for Party chair. The future of our Party, and indeed our Commonwealth, is at stake.
RPV doesn’t need a babysitter, but rather someone with vision to set the direction and to hire the right team to establish a solid and reliable infrastructure and implement a sound plan to turn things around and start winning again.
Nevertheless, I see a great deal of benefit to the Party in not having their Chairman limited by the legislative calendar, even if then-Senator Randy Forbes handled both his RPV Chairmanship and legislative responsibilities well.
With a dedicated focus on the Chairmanship, however, I’ll not only be free to build upon my successes in winning tough Democrat leaning districts like the one I currently represent in Northern Virginia, but also to advance our conservative agenda statewide to help us win back seats where the Democrats have trumped us.
I realize that some see the Cobb/Malek/Neel letter as a cynical attack by the Hager campaign to pat me on the back as such a great leader and the only person able to hold my seat – while on the other hand claiming I’m not qualified to lead our Party as Chairman.
Neither is true.
My point in saying I’ve won a district most Republicans haven’t is not that I have some inflated ego and the voters have some special affection for me. The key to my winning elections while RPV is losing seats is that I understand how to logistically raise the money, involve the youth, reach out to new communities, and use technology to communicate to voters why our Republican philosophy is best.
Using the same approach, I am comfortable that my House seat can continue to be represented by a Republican. Yet, I am not comfortable that the current RPV leadership is capable of retaining our House majority – and that is the larger problem we face, rather than just concern over my one seat.
My success in raising $1.3 million in my last 2 campaigns (representing just 1% of the state) speaks for itself, and as Chairman, I will continue to expand these resources for the benefit of our candidates to win back seats we have lost.
If I am ultimately unsuccessful in this Chairman’s race, I will certainly be a team player and seek re-election to the House – but I am not looking forward to the prospect of being in the minority after two more years of RPV “staying the course” and John Hager claiming RPV has “met all their goals”.
Every decision in politics involves some risk. Still, the only risk facing the delegates to the May 31 state convention is the one we take by keeping the status quo in charge at RPV, as we continue to lose election after election across Virginia, and consistently being outmaneuvered by the Democrats in technology, fundraising – and yes, even grassroots activism.
Mr. Hager’s own supporters are quick to praise me for my energy, talent and skill to win where others do not win. I worked hard to develop the right formula to prevail in one of the toughest areas of the Commonwealth. Instead of welcoming this know-how, they want to use it as an excuse to promote leadership that has us going backwards, and losing everything we’ve worked so hard to accomplish.
You don’t have to be a mathematician to know that the health and well-being of 100 House seats warrants much greater consideration than one. If you believe that I am the best choice to hold our most competitive seats and win back others to build our majority, then you should have every confidence that I’ll also provide the necessary skill and leadership to hold the very seat I may be vacating.
If, on the other hand, you believe that RPV under John Hager – which hasn’t picked up a single Democratic seat – not one – but has lost 9 Republican seats during his tenure – is the right man for the job, then your mind is made up regardless of the evidence.
I hope we can count on your support, and if you haven’t already – I hope you’ll join our team.
Sincerely, Jeff Frederick