July 22, 2007
Former Lieutenant Governor John Hager was elected as the new Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia yesterday, by a narrow 41-39 margin on the second ballot. This marked the end of a surprisingly contentious struggle among evenly-matched factions. Judd has been serving as Executive Director of the party since late last year, and would have continued in that (paid) staff position as well as the (unpaid) chairman role. Hager announced that he plans to keep Judd in his current position, and said he will work hard to unite the factions within the party. I wish him all the luck in the world, but even that may not be enough. See the Hampton Road Daily Press.
Jim Hoeft has the full text of Hager's letter to the RPV, emphasizing the need for the party to unite to win elections. There are a bunch of pertinent comments from various points of view at Too Conservative. I'll admit I had mixed feelings about this race; see my June 22 blog post. I had a good impression of Charlie Judd from my brief meeting with him back in February, but I also have a lot of respect for the mainstream, common-sense conservatism of John Hager. He has been a political rival, at various times, of former Attorney General Mark Earley and Rep. Eric Cantor, who endorsed Judd in this race. Judd used to work for the Moral Majority, founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell.
Waldo Jaquith has more to say about "the dangers of pseudonymous commenting." One motivation for assuming a false cybernetic identity is to artificially manipulate stock prices by spreading rumors, and someone got caught doing just that. Waldo just added me to his Virginia political blogroll, which will no doubt intensify the SWAC-area rumors of my alleged "leftist activities."