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.
Philadelphia's last Whig mayor was elected in 1854. It's hard to verify whether Whigs won any lower offices after that. Previously an independent, Bucholz said he joined the Whigs three years ago because their fiscally conservative but socially liberal views represented a "middle path" between Democrats and Republicans. The government shutdown "pretty much told us we can't trust either party and the system is broken," he said. Of course, he probably trusts one Republican: His wife, Dinah, a registered Republican was also elected Tuesday, as an election inspector.