I’d bet good money that you’ve heard the results of the RPV Chairman struggle. If not, on Saturday the State Central Committee voted to remove Jeff Frederick as Chairman. It was a close vote (well close in the fact that they voted 57-18, precisely the 3/4th vote that they needed).
Rather than dwell on the particulars of that event, (by the way, Deo Vindice has an interesting write-up of the event) I want to focus on the future. As I stated earlier, I am deeply concerned that this chairman fight will rage on as many Frederick supporters think he was railroaded out of power. Although I was concerned about the outcome, the potential fracture in party and conservative unity was a far more important issue. Well, it looks as if my fears may indeed come to pass. About fifteen minutes ago, I received an email from the former chairman recounting the recent events. Here is the email in full:
Dear Fellow Virginia Republican:
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, fifty-seven members of the State Central Committee voted on Saturday to remove me as Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Their decision effectively overturned the result of the thousands of Republican grassroots activists and volunteers who elected me at the 2008 Virginia Republican Convention.
The difference in the outcome hinged on a favorable proxy vote for me, who was disqualified by the Committee. Had this gentleman – an active Republican who drove all the way from Bath County to attend this meeting – been allowed to cast his vote, I would be Chairman today.
As I told the press corps after the vote, I’m certainly disappointed, yet I remain optimistic.
I ran for Chairman with the hope of changing our Party so we could once again be the majority party in Virginia, achieving real progress for our Commonwealth and our families while remaining true to our principles and values.
Unfortunately, the headwinds against changing course were just too great. Too many are still invested in doing things the old way, giving direction from the top-down instead of building and growing from the bottom-up. When I sought the chairmanship, I promised to put our Party firmly back in your hands – the grassroots of our Party. Of course, that didn’t sit well with long-time Party insiders. Instead of concerning themselves with electing Republicans, they – from the moment my victory was declared last May – focused their efforts on replacing me with someone who would “play ball” with them.
I am disappointed for our Party and our grassroots, since the very same people who have presided over our Party’s decline in Virginia are now back in charge.
Yet, I will not be deterred. I have always said that I am not in this business for me. Philosophically, I fight these fights to further the principles you and I share. Practically, I engage to do all I can to ensure that my daughters have a chance to grow up in the wonderful Virginia in which I had the privilege of growing up.
Amy and I have some decisions to make. Over the next several days, we will be talking amongst ourselves and with close friends, and praying about our next steps. We will fill you in as soon as we make those decisions.
Until then, I want to give my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to those of you who stood by me through these challenging and trying times. It is times like these when you truly learn who your friends are, and I’m humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from every corner of Virginia. You are true friends, and I will never forget all that you sacrificed on behalf of our Party and our principles.
Notwithstanding whatever course we take from here, know that our friendships will endure, and please don’t ever hesitate to let me know how I can repay even just a small measure of the abundant support you all have shown Amy and me.
Our movement to revitalize Republican conservatism in Virginia is far from over. We will be in touch soon.
What I gather from this email is that we haven’t seen the last of Jeff Frederick. Now I don’t have a problem with this fact as if I were Frederick, I would look to repair my good name too, plus we need more conservative voices out there. What does concern me, however, is the particular manner in which he chooses to proceed. As you will note in his email, he mentions that he would still be Chairman assuming a Republican from Bath County was not disqualified from voting. Will he run for Chairman again? And will this fight spill over into the May RPV Convention? According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the answer is yes.
All is calm now…but isn’t that always the case before a tempest?
Update: I want to draw your attention to a post by a fomer Mercer student on the Frederick battle over at RedState. It is a story I’ve heard before, but it does offer an alternative perspective.