Former three-term delegate and Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Jeff Frederick Tuesday announced his candidacy for the Northern Virginia area 36th district Senate seat. In a detailed e-mail with a simple headline ("I'm In!") he promised a "commonsense, pro-people — not politics — campaign to create jobs, grow our economy, improve transportation and infrastructure, and protect our special quality of life." He first will face conservative activist, businessman and radio personality Tito "The Builder" Munoz in a Republican primary. The winner will face incumbent liberal Democrat Toddy Puller. As we were one of the first to report that Mr. Frederick was considering a political comeback, his announcement was no surprise. At the time we noted how the Democrat-leaning district, though to tough to win, might be winnable for an energetic, grassroots oriented candidate such as Mr. Frederick. After all, he won his old House district, which was a Democrat district, three times and now 37 percent of that old House district is in the new 36th Senate district. Not only that, the Senate Democrat Majority took away some Democrat precincts from the 36th to shore up another district. In an off-off-off year election, where turnout is between 30-35 percent, and in a newly redrawn district where many won't know their senator, a GOP victory there is possible. It's not just conservative fantasy, either: None other than the left-wing blog Not Larry Sabato mourned the loss of the seat with an April healdine, "Senator-Elect Jeff Frederick Gives GOP Control of Senate."

But it won't be easy, as Mr. Frederick himself observes (see below). One theory is that an energetic, grassroots Republican can indeed win, but perhaps lightening rod candidates such as Mr. Frederick and Mr. Munoz (who has campaigned with Sarah Palin in the past) will send up a red flag as large as Wyoming and drive out liberal voters. However, Mr. Frederick told Anita Kumar of the Washington Post that, "We were able to find a path to victory through the data." This is one campaign that we, and most of the commonwealth, will keep an eye on.

Here's a portion of Mr. Frederick's announcement statement (read it in its entirety, here):

I'm happy to report to you, after a lot of thought, discussion, and prayer, we've decided to run for the Senate of Virginia.

But, I'm not in it for the money ($18k a year), the title, the digs, some degree of perceived power, or people making me feel important. I am running to serve the people of eastern Prince William, Fairfax, and Stafford and to change politics as usual in Richmond. There's too much polarization; too much partisanship; and not enough principled people going down there who are focused on the people that they represent — working hard day in and day out to make our communities, commonwealth and country a better place to live, work, and raise a family. We need leaders in Richmond who aren't afraid to shake up and stand up to the status quo and keep people of any political party accountable. . . .

I've opposed all attempts to grow government and tax you more, and I will continue to do so. You know better how to spend your money than government does. My record is clear and needs no election-year makeover. I never forget who I work for and always keep my promises. You might not always agree with me 100% of the time, but you'll always know where I stand and I'll always welcome your thoughts and ideas. . . .

God willing, we’ll win this election and change politics as usual in Virginia.

This is going to be a tough race in a district that was clearly gerrymandered for someone of the opposite political party. I've got a track record of winning in these tough districts and appealing to people of all political stripes, but this one could be the most difficult one yet. Notwithstanding, the numbers tell us it is winnable, especially given that 37% of the district is my old House district. Some of the toughest precincts in this new Senate district are precincts I consistently won in my prior House races against difficult opposition. . . .