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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

Shaun Kenney for Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia

On Friday the Directors of this site called on the Republican Party of Virginia to boot RPV Chairman Jeff Frederick. We understand the reasons the conservative grassroots have stuck with Jeff. The moderates and liberals in the Virginia GOP have degraded the party, created internal infighting that has decimated the party’s power in the state, screwed the conservatives, raised taxes, collaborated and conspired with the Democrats, and ignored all calls for reform and change.We get it.We also get that Frederick has seized on this sentiment to put himself in power. And what has he done with the power? He has used it for himself. He’s now using it to try to get his wife elected to the see he occupies in the state legislature. He has failed to reform the party. He has been mired in infighting. He has sabotaged the potential of the GOP to re-secure the State Senate. His only defense is to hope conservative activists buy into the “oh poor me, the elites are after me” scenario.One RedState reader commented:

I received a letter from him shortly after he became Chairman talking about how he had a “new vision” for RPV and was planning a brand new website and a more robust infrastructure. The new website arrived…six months later. Right before the election. And Frederick’s RPV ground game not only let us lose the Presidential contest for the first time since ‘68 (that is not solely his fault, of course) but also lose VA-11, VA-02, and VA-05 – the last of which is simply unforgivable. There is no way Tom Perriello should have won that district. He has been verbal gaffe machine and despite Morgan Griffith’s protestations to the contrary, I believe he had a large hand in the collapsing of the deal that was going to give us back the state Senate. There is too much on the line this fall. We have a six seat majority in the House of Delegates and absolutely cannot afford to lose it.

The pulse I pick up on from Virginia is this1: the conservative grassroots in Virginia are happy to see Jeff Frederick go, but only if another conservative will stand up to replacement and has the backing of the apparatus now being put in place to oust him. The conservatives will not let go of the guy unless they get a conservative replacement. And the First Vice Chair is a non-starter.I have heard from a lot of Virginians who say they need another Ed Gillespie. Good luck with that. Does Tom Davis fit the bill? Yeah, that’s what I thought — the conservatives would rather keep Frederick.Let me suggest Shaun Kenney. He does not have the name that Ed Gillespie has, but no one can question his conservatism and no one can question his commitment to the Republican Party of Virginia. He has been involved and active. Kenney is both a charismatic speaker and technologically savvy. He gets the grassroots. He gets the infrastructure issues. He gets the new tools and technologies that can make the RPV effective. No, he does not have the power rolodex that Gillespie has or the national name — but that sure didn’t do the RPV a lot of good when Gillespie was there.The conservative grassroots will not swap Frederick for someone that is not one of them. Shaun Kenney is, right now, the best option I’m aware of.Bob McDonnell, Eric Cantor — you guys listening? It might be time to work a deal. After all, 2009’s elections are going to affect redistricting come 2011. It’s now or never. If you are active in the RPV, I suggest you start pushing this idea, lest you lose … again.


  1. I get asked a lot how I even know anything about Virginia politics, given that I’m in Georgia. Well, I have a heck of a lot of conservative friends active in Virginia politics, I’m in a unique position in that I have a large group of people across the nation who write me or fly me around to talk to GOP groups in various states. I’ve got a pretty good pulse on the internal machinations of a number of state parties. It kind of comes with the job. I also knew Jeff Frederick in college and it does not appear he has changed much at all.

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