Governments' Lighter Side

Party like it's 1859

On Nov. 5, a Whig was elected to public office in Philadelphia. The candidate didn’t step out of a smoking Delorean, either.

Robert Bucholz, a member of the Modern Whig Party, campaigned door-to-door to defeat Democrat Lorretta Probasco by a margin of 36 to 24, according to The Daily Beast. Bucholz will now serve as the judge of election for the Fifth Division of Philadelphia’s 56th Ward.

So what does that mean, you ask? Well, not a whole lot. Bucholz will serve a four- year term, at a $100 a year rate, to oversee equipment and procedures at the polls, according to the Associated Press. But still, he’s the first Philadelphia Whig to be elected in more than a century and a half. That’s something.

Bucholz was previously an independent, but joined the Whigs three years ago because of the party’s fiscally conservative but socially liberal leanings, he told the AP. He says Whigs represent a reasonable “middle path” between Democrats and Republicans.

What Bucholz saw as the insanity of the shutdown further solidified his party affiliation, according to the AP. “That pretty much told us we can’t trust either party and the system is broken.”

In an email to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Bucholz praised the Whigs for their pragmatism, and wrote his party members “believe that politics is all about compromise instead of getting everything you want and giving up nothing. The recent gridlock in Washington could not have happened under Modern Whigs.”

The AP reports that the Modern Whigs have approximately 30,000 members across the country. Bucholz and J. Brendan Galligan, who serves on a New Jersey school board, are the only two Whigs currently holding office.


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What's Governments' Lighter Side?

It is an irreverent take on local and state government news.


Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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