Pete Snyder is the latest Republican to try to use a stint as a Fox News employee as a launching pad to political office.
Snyder announced on November 26 that he is seeking the Republican nomination for Virginia lieutenant governor, three days after stepping down from his role as a contributor to Fox News. Several other Republicans have followed a similar path in recent years.
The technology entrepreneur became a Fox News contributor in August of this year and made numerous appearances on Fox News and Fox Business. Fox hired Snyder despite the fact that he was chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia's coordinated campaign efforts for the 2012 election cycle (a position he retained), and following reports that he was considering a run for lieutenant governor. Snyder used his position at Fox to push Republican talking points and advocate for the defeat of President Obama. A November 23 press release announced he was stepping down from Fox News
Snyder's campaign heavily promotes his association with Fox News, and highlights praise from Fox News chairman Roger Ailes. Snyder's prior Fox News employment is referenced in the first sentence of his announcement press release. His campaign website includes a front page box touting, “AS SEEN ON FOX NEWS.”
The box links to a page titled, “A Conservative on the Fox News Team.” The page leads with a quote from Roger Ailes lauding the candidate, touts his appearances on the network, and claims that he “quickly became one of Fox News' 'go-to' conservatives voices on the issues that matter most in our country -- from how to get our economy moving again to the crippling impact of Obamacare on our economy to the horrific tragedy in Benghazi and the murder of our ambassador overseas.” The page also embeds a recent guest appearance by Snyder on Fox & Friends.
Snyder's campaign bio touts his Fox News affiliation, stating that he “regularly added his ideas and leadership to the movement as a Fox News Contributor. Fox News Founder and President Roger Ailes recently said, 'Pete's been a strong and effective conservative voice for Fox News and America.'”
Several reports on Snyder's announcement note his Fox News employment. Conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock wrote in a post on National Review Online's The Corner blog that “Fox News Channel viewers should recognize Snyder. A Fox News contributor, he frequently appeared on-air to offer his opinions and political analysis.”
Snyder joins other Republicans who have tried to make the jump from Fox News pundit to political office. The results, however, have been mixed. Fox News helped former host and contributor John Kasich become Ohio governor. Less successful was Angela McGlowan, who ran for a congressional seat in Mississippi after her Fox News contract expired. McGlowan finished a distant third in the Republican primary and was subsequently hired back by Fox.
During the recent presidential campaign, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum also went from Fox News contributor to Republican candidate. Fox News served as an ally when it came to boosting Gingrich's political and business interests prior to his run for office. Rick Santorum said during the campaign that his prior Fox employment has “been big” and “helped folks remember who I am ... It's a great platform, being able to talk about the current issues of the day.” Both candidates ultimately lost and expressed dissatisfaction with Fox News' coverage of their campaigns.
Current Fox News contributor Liz Cheney appears to also be considering a run for office. In May, Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Cheney about a report “that you were traveling around the state and that you're thinking of running for the Senate from Wyoming in 2014.” Cheney dodged the question, prompting Wallace to remark, “to be continued.”