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On My Ray-dar column: Election night

I caught up with Megan Revis Frederick about 8:30 at the Culpeper Cattle Company. The final results had just come in showing that she had defeated Paul Walther in the special election for Culpeper County commonwealth’s attorney. Walther, a long-time assistant to Gary Close, has served as commonwealth’s attorney since Close resigned suddenly in March.

Frederick won by a margin of more than 5 percent (52.66 to 47.19) and while she was bubbling with enthusiasm at her victory, she said she was not surprised by it.

“I actually thought the margin might be bigger,” said Frederick. “It shows that you can’t fool the good people of Culpeper. I believe Jesus made me a soldier for justice in this county and justice is what I intend to pursue. Culpeper County has been good to me and I will be good to Culpeper County.”

Walther was selected by the Culpeper County Republican Party as its candidate over Frederick. As a result, she ran as an independent.

Much of Frederick’s campaign was based on the conviction of Michael Wayne Hash for capital murder in Lignum in 2000. He went to prison in 2001. Senior U.S. District Court Judge James C. Turk, reviewing the case in March, reversed the conviction and freed Hash citing a “series of lies and failures to disclose exculpatory evidence.”

The judge was critical of the role Close played and said there was “a miscarriage of justice.” Close resigned a few days later. Walther was the second chair attorney to Close, but said throughout the campaign he was not heavily involved in preparing or prosecuting the case.

“This was really a victory for Michael Hash,” Frederick said. “I hope now he understands the people of Culpeper are behind him.”
Since it was a special election, Frederick will take office almost immediately.

“It could happen within 24-48 hours, but I’m at the mercy of the county now (to swear me in),” she said.

Surrounded by happy supporters Frederick said she is ready to serve.

“I have a lot of work to do but I have no trepidation about filling this position,” she said. “I’ve spent a lot of time around criminal law, doing investigations and I’m humble. I have no ego. I will ask for help when I need it and I will utilize staff. But I know what I’m doing.”

Frederick said she plans to keep some of the staff members that worked for Walther.

“A lot of them have families and I have no desire to increase the unemployment rate,” she said, laughing.

Then Frederick got serious and looked directly at me: “My job is not about representing a person, it’s about representing justice, and that’s what I intend to do.”

Walther did not return calls for comment by press time.

In the other local race, Alexa Fritz beat Sanford Reaves, 1743 to 1568 to fill the Salem District seat on the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors that had belonged to Tom Underwood, who resigned earlier this year.

Neither Fritz nor Reaves could be reached for comment.




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