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Published November 07, 2013, 03:58 PM

Philadelphia, a Democratic bastion, elects a Whig

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Democratic bastion of Philadelphia has elected a Whig to public office.

By: KATHY MATHESON, Associated Press, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Democratic bastion of Philadelphia has elected a Whig to public office.

Robert "Heshy" Bucholz believes he may be the first Whig to win at the ballot box in Philadelphia in nearly 160 years.

Bucholz, a member of the Modern Whig party, campaigned door-to-door and beat his Democratic opponent 36-24 on Tuesday to earn a four-year term as an election judge in the city's Rhawnhurst section. Election judges are paid $100 a year and are responsible for overseeing equipment and procedures at the polls.

The city's last Whig mayor was elected in 1854. Currently, there are 804,000 registered Democrats and 120,000 Republicans in the city.

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 told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Four U.S. presidents were Whigs in the mid-1800s. The party largely disappeared in the 20th century, but was revived in 2007 by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who were upset at the lack of bipartisanship in Washington, according to the group's website.

The Modern Whigs have about 30,000 members nationwide, chairman Andrew Evans said.

Bucholz, an engineer, admitted to being "a little bewildered" by the attention to his win, noting that his wife, Dinah, is usually the one getting publicity.

Dinah Bucholz is the author of "The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook." A registered Republican, she won a term on Tuesday as an election inspector.

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