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First Whig in 157 years to take office in Philadelphia

Nov. 7, 2013 at 4:58 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania man says he has become the first member of the Whig party in more than 150 years to be elected to political office in Philadelphia.

Robert Bucholz was elected Tuesday a Judge of Elections in the Rhawnhurst neighborhood as a Whig, by a relatively overwhelming vote of 36-24, Philly.com reported Wednesday.

The Whig party was founded in America in 1833, but died out after it split over the issue of slavery in 1856.

Resurrected as the Modern Whip Party about five years ago, it drew Bucholz's attention because of its focus on seeking consensus, not rigid ideology, he said.

"The political tone turned nastier and I didn't identify with either Republicans or Democrats," he said. "The time for a third party that can broker consensus is long overdue."

As a Whig official in a city noted for its "electoral dishonesty," Bucholz said, "I am an honest broker in administering elections."

Pennsylvania's voter ID law is becoming a controversy, he said, and "I ran in order to make sure that the law, whatever it will be in the end, will be followed."

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