Virginia state Republican Party Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick fired back Tuesday at party leaders seeking to remove him from his post, reiterating that he will not resign and responding to charges of mismanagement made by his opponents.
“As I have stated from the beginning, I will not abandon the chairmanship and break my pledge to the rank-and-file Republicans who elected me less than a year ago,” Mr. Frederick said in a letter to party members.
Mr. Frederick faces a removal vote at a meeting of the party’s 77-member State Central Committee on April 4. His ouster would require a three-fourths vote.
If he is removed, party rules stipulate the State Central Committee will fill the vacancy until a new election is held at the next convention. Before the committee takes action, the party’s first vice chairman - Mike Thomas - would become chairman.
Alexandra Liddy Bourne, the daughter of former Nixon aide and radio talk-show host G. Gordon Liddy, and Louisa County Republican Committee Chairman Patrick Mullins have been mentioned as possible replacements for Mr. Frederick.
Mr. Mullins could not be reached for comment. Mrs. Bourne, who ran unsuccessfully for a House seat in 1995 and now serves as a vice president for the Chicago-based nonprofit Heartland Institute, declined to comment on the chairman situation.
“I’m going to stay quiet on this right now for a lot of reasons,” she said. “I trust that the central committee will handle it appropriately.”
Mr. Frederick, a three-term delegate from Prince William County, has faced mounting opposition to his leadership from party members in the wake of significant losses in November’s elections and criticism of his actions, including a comment he made during the presidential campaign comparing Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden.
Those seeking Mr. Frederick’s removal also have accused him of failing to promptly send to the party online donations processed by his company and of withholding some of the money - after assuring party leaders his company was not being used as a vendor.
He responded by saying heused his firm - GSX Strategies Inc. - and its subsidiary to establish a “place-holding” Web site and donation company until new vendors were ready.
He said the company took $1,479 for expenses related to making remittances to banks, credit card companies and an online-processing service in a successful and transparent process that netted the party $19,655 in donations. He said he did not withhold money from the party to benefit himself.
In his letter, Mr. Frederick responded to other allegations and faulted “longtime party insiders” for trying to oust him despite his election at the party’s state convention in Richmond last year.
The 33-year-old conservative unseated incumbent chairman and moderate John H. Hager after a bitter and divisive contest. The effort to oust him has been backed by state House and Senate Republican leaders, all five members of the Virginia congressional delegation and the party’s presumptive gubernatorial nominee, Bob McDonnell.
“I do not take it personally that some want me to step down so we can return to the old way of doing things … ,” Mr. Frederick said. “But, I do take offense when a small minority seeks to nullify the voices of so many, once again turning our party into a rubber stamp for its longtime insiders.”