Philadelphia Elects A Whig

The Whig Party essentially faded after existence in the early 1850s as the issue of slavery gripped the nation and anti-slavery advocates came together to form what eventally became the Republican Party, but there’s now a Whig holding elected office in Philadelphia:

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Voters in Philadelphia have elected a Whig to public office for what the victor believes may be the first time in nearly 160 years.

Robert “Heshy” Bucholz, a member of the Modern Whig party, campaigned door-to-door and won 36 votes to his Democratic opponent’s 24 on Tuesday to become an election judge in the city’s Rhawnhurst section.

Election judges, who serve four-year terms, receive about $100 annually and are responsible for overseeing equipment and procedures at the polls.

Now a heavily Democratic city, Philadelphia’s last Whig mayor was elected in 1854. It’s hard to verify whether Whigs won any lower offices after that, said Stephanie Singer, one of three commissioners overseeing local elections.

Previously an independent, Bucholz said he joined the Whigs three years ago because of their fiscally conservative but socially liberal views. They represent a sensible “middle path” between Democrats and Republicans, especially in light of the recent government shutdown, he said.

“That pretty much told us we can’t trust either party and the system is broken,” Bucholz said Thursday.

The website of the “Modern Whig Party” can be found here. The extent to which they actually follow a platform similar to the classic Whig Party from 160 years ago is a bit debatable, though.

FILED UNDER: 2013 Election, US Politics, , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. PD Shaw says:

    Whigs: Internal improvements; protective tariffs; strong defense; and a national bank.

    Timeless classics.

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    Political parties morph over time. The Democratic party is not the same party I joined in 1968. The Republican party is certainly not the same Party my late father joined decades ago or even the same one James joined much more recently. Sometimes they morph so much they become irrelevant. This almost happened to the Democrats in the early 70s and may be happening to the Republicans now. Perhaps a revival of the Whigs is not as unlikely as we might think.

  3. ernieyeball says:

    @Ron Beasley: Sometimes they morph so much they become irrelevant.

    Wallace’s campaign rhetoric became infamous, such as when he pledged “If any anarchists lie down in front of my automobile, it will be the last automobile they ever lie down in front of” and asserted that the only four letter words that hippies did not know were w-o-r-k and s-o-a-p. He accused Humphrey and Nixon of wanting to desegregate the South. Wallace proclaimed, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrat and Republican parties,” a line that he had first used in 1966, when his first wife, Lurleen Burns Wallace, ran successfully for governor against the Republican James D. Martin.

    Lest we forget.
    George Corley Wallace RIP

  4. Tyrell says:

    Yes, and he also said the two parties were like “tweedle dee and tweedle dum”, which I agreed with then, and even more so now. I can certainly see why there could be a lot of interest and support for a revival of the Whig Party. Sounds interesting to me, even though I am a member of the Southern wing of the Democrat party; have been since 1960.