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Fairfax County Circuit Court Clerk John Frey Jumps Into the Attorney General Race

Important news in the Virginia Attorney General race came in late this week — Fairfax County Circuit Court Clerk John Frey announced that he would seek the GOP nomination for Attorney General.  

The announcement came as a surprise to most, even those active in Republican circles in Fairfax County.  As to Frey’s chances, there is an interesting analysis by the Not Larry Sabato blog which raises some good points in his favor.  Perhaps most importantly, Frey was re-elected county-wide in 2007 election, and was the only Republican to do so in that election cycle. 

Moreover, Frey’s knowledge of and success in retail politics should not be underestimated.  He enjoys wide bipartisan support not only because he runs a tight ship at the Fairfax County Courthouse (which is important to every lawyer practicing in that Court) but also because more or less everyone who meets John genuinely likes him. 

And on the topic of primary interest to this blog, the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act and qui tam litigation in Virginia, I can say for certain that Mr. Frey has more experience with the statute than the other candidates who have announced so far.  I say that because filing a VFATA case in a Virginia Circuit Court is much more complicated than filing a normal civil action and I have personally filed several Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act cases in Mr. Frey’s Court.  Each time, he took the time to read the statute and prepare for the filing. 

Even more important, John also understands the statute, and anyone who wants to properly do the job of Virginia Attorney General will need to understand it.  Attorney General Cuccinelli has broken new ground in the use of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act, but there remains much to be done.    
This is shaping up to be a very interesting primary indeed.