To highlight his "real case for change" William A. Hazel {"Va. Republicans Must Stop Looking Backward," Close to Home, Aug. 5} seems to be saying that in the 1993 primaries, Virginia Republicans had better turn their backs on Marshall Coleman, Wyatt Durette and Paul Trible -- all unsuccessful candidates for governor -- and the Republican Party of Virginia had better turn its back its chairman, Don Huffman. Why? Because if Virginia's GOP doesn't turn its back on the old guard, there won't be any Hazel money forthcoming? That, now, would be a real change.

Developer money and money from developer's attorneys -- and I'm talking the big guys now, not the small builders who can't even hope to compete -- has poisoned Virginia politics. Nowhere has this poison been more insidious than in Northern Virginia, where overdevelopment has the landfills overflowing, the roads overcrowded, the groundwater tapped out and property owners overburdened with some of the highest taxes in the country. Damn right it's time for a change. It's time for Mr. Hazel to take his own advice and stop looking backward to the recent past, when developer money has skewed Virginia's political balance of power to the detriment of Virginia's middle-class taxpayers.

As an active Republican concerned about not only the future of the Republican Party, but also the environment and property taxes, neither of which seems to overly concern Mr. Hazel, I have only one thing left to say to him: If you're thinking of running for governor yourself, don't. Our party doesn't need that kind of trouble. KRISTEN C. UMSTATTD Leesburg