Interview With RPV Chairman John Hager, Part 2May 12, 2008
Yesterday, familyfoundation.org posted the first of a two-part interview with Republican Party of Virginia Chairman John Hager. You can read it here. We conclude today with the last four of eight questions submitted. Previously, we interviewed Delegate Jeff Frederick (R-52, Woodbridge), who is challenging Mr. Hager for the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. You can read that interview here. Tomorrow, we will post an interview with the Democrats' state chairman, former Delegate Dickie Cranwell. familyfoundation.org: What do you think the Republican Party of Virginia should stand for and why do you think it best represents the interests of Virginians?
Chairman John Hager: Virginia's history and tradition are rooted in freedom and liberty. The Republican Creed is a very strong statement that should guide our Party and shape our policies as we work to expand these twin ideals.
I enthusiastically believe that the majority of Virginians share our conservative values, believe in strong families, and understand the importance of individual responsibility and opportunity.
The Republican Party can and must stand firm on those principles as it works to bring like-minded Virginians into the fold. By standing by our principles we will attract new voters and our party will grow.
familyfoundation.org: Should the state party take sides in primaries? We've seen the national party intervene for certain candidates for Senate and House races.
Chairman Hager: The state Party should not take sides in primaries once they are set with duly qualified candidates. We are here to support elected Republicans and be strong representatives of the people. When there is a party contest, the paid party employees are to remain neutral during working hours. We have an intelligent and active Republican Party staff. They will naturally have their own opinions about candidates, but on the party clock, they are to stay out of contested primaries and remain true the goal of electing Republicans.
familyfoundation.org: How do you see the direction of the party right now, especially given the 2005, 2006 and 2007 elections? Is the party not winning because it's afraid to fully embrace conservative issues and reforms? Or is it more about technical things, such as campaign management?
Chairman Hager: The Party has its challenges to overcome and they are not insignificant. We must know what we stand for and clearly articulate a conservative message. We must organize, inspire, motivate, and mobilize the base to support Republican candidates and elected officials. We must reach out to who share our principles and believe in our values. We must unite behind a conservative cause to win elections. Campaign management is an important element, but will never replace an effective grassroots and energized party membership.
The next two years are pivotal to Republicans in Virginia. We must be strong in 2008 to deliver Virginia to John McCain, hold our Congressional seats, and defeat Mark Warner. 2009 will give us an opportunity to expand our majority in the House of Delegates and reclaim the Governor's Mansion. This will only happen if we all work together to articulate our ideas and convey them to the voters.
familyfoundation.org: Are you and your family getting more excited about your son's wedding as it gets closer? Has it hit you yet that your extended family soon will include the President of the United States and a former president? What are both gentlemen like?
Chairman Hager: We are very excited about the wedding. These are two accomplished young people coming together; our families get along and are very supportive.