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Jeff Frederick, a Republican who is running against Ms. Puller in the 36th District, which includes parts of Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford counties, said the elections are less about political parties and more about getting the right people into office.

“I’m not here to be a cheerleader for the Republicans: Been there, done that, didn’t like it very much when I had to do it,” said Mr. Frederick, a former state delegate who was ousted as chairman of the Virginia Republican Party in early 2009. “I’ve been in the legislature when both houses were controlled by the Republicans. I’ve been in it when it was controlled half by Republicans and half by Democrats.

“Frankly, there hasn’t been a lot of difference. So I think we need some changes. I think we need to put the right kind of people there, not necessarily the right people with the right kind of letter behind their names.”