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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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Frederick was one of those insurgents when he unseated moderate John A. "Jack" Rollison III five years ago. Some party leaders fear that Frederick would encourage more intraparty challenges. Many Republicans say that similar primary challenges last year, which cost two senators their jobs, helped the Democrats take control of the state Senate.

Frederick also has to make the case that he can handle the workload of a party chairman and a delegate while being chief executive of Alexandria-based GXS Strategies.

Hager, who is retired, works full time as chairman. And because he is able to attend party events, some activists say he is the most visible chairman they have had in years.

Patrick M. McSweeney, a former party chairman closely aligned with the conservative movement, said in a letter in February that he could not support Frederick for party chairman. Elected officials should not serve in that role, McSweeney said.

"One constituency or the other must inevitably suffer when those roles are combined in one person," McSweeney wrote in a letter to Frederick.

Despite those reservations, it appears that Republicans such as Frederick represent the future of the GOP. But making such a radical change in the middle of a presidential election year could be risky for a party that may have already reached its electoral low point.

Besides, do Virginia Republicans really want to put Jenna Bush's father-in-law on the unemployment line, especially when her father will also be out of a job come January?

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