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Hager, Frederick Slug It Out for GOP Chairman's Job

Jeffrey M. Frederick
Jeffrey M. Frederick (Courtesy Of Jeffrey-m. Frederick)
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On paper, at least, Frederick is an appealing candidate for a party desperate to end a losing streak.

He's relatively young and definitely energetic, saying the party must shift the focus to rebuilding its grass-roots organization, once a strength of the state party.

Frederick is Hispanic, and he lives in Northern Virginia. Electing him might make the Republican Party appear more receptive to the concerns of minorities and residents in Northern Virginia. Those groups are fueling the Democratic resurgence in the state.

Frederick, who operates a technology business, might also be able to tap new sources of money for the GOP.

Along with his wife, Amy, who is a savvy political strategist, Frederick has proved that he knows how to win elections.

Frederick, first elected in 2003, has been racking up surprisingly large election margins, even though he is one of the most conservative members of the General Assembly and represents a Democratic-leaning district.

"I know how to go out and reach out to different voters and bring them in so we can win," Frederick said.

But there are plenty of pitfalls in Frederick's candidacy.

In the House, Frederick has largely been marginalized by Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). Some legislators say Frederick can be arrogant, abrasive and self-absorbed, but he did pick up an endorsement last week from Del. Daniel W. Marshall III (R-Danville).

Frederick is also an outspoken anti-tax conservative -- he opposes efforts to raise more money for transportation -- and that might undercut his argument that he has a firm grasp of Northern Virginia's problems.

Hager, a former lieutenant governor, is also conservative but has had strong ties to the moderate wing of the party during his career.

If Frederick wins, he could worsen a split between the establishment-elected officeholders and the insurgency element of the party, largely made up of ambitious, young conservatives.

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