According to The News & Observer: "The national Modern Whig Party, as it calls itself, was started in the most unlikely of locations—the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan by U.S. troops." The Modern Whig Party was organized as a grassroots movement in the beginning of 2008. The Florida Whig Party was created two years earlier with a similar goal at the state level but is not affiliated in any way. Among the national Modern Whig Party's founding members were military veterans who had served in Afghanistan and Iraq and become dissatisfied with the deep ideological divide between the Republican and Democratic parties. Other media outlets have touted the Modern Whig Party's moderate platform and its viable appeal during a time of ideological fragmentation within the Republican and Democratic parties.
The grassroots movement of the Whigs has a national headquarters in Washington, D.C. and an executive committee. The Modern Whig Party claims about 20,000 members nationally, although that number is known to primarily count those who register on the party's web site. Various Modern Whig chapters, such as in California, also gather and tally members through their state registrations. The party currently has a national executive committee composed of individuals in Texas, Missouri, New York, and Georgia.
The Modern Whig Party announced its first electoral victory when one of its members, Ken Belcher, won election as Constable of Lee County, Alabama on the Democratic ticket (Belcher cited difficulty with third parties qualifying to appear on ballots in the state and affirmed his Modern Whig affiliation). In its first authentic electoral test, Gene L. Baldassari sought a seat in the New Jersey Assembly, representing its Fourteenth District, in the November 2, 2009 general election. He received 738 votes, for just over 0.6 percent of the vote.
Immediately after the election of November 4, 2008, a push began to attract moderate/conservative Democrats and members of the Republican Party (GOP) who felt disenchanted with both the GOP's failings and its perception as moving further to the right.
On December 12–13, 2009, the Modern Whig Party held the first national leadership council meeting in Washington, D.C. 14 people attended (including children).
In 2010, the Modern Whig Party endorsed Jeffrey Vanke, who ran as an independent in the race for Virginia's 6th electoral district against incumbent Republican Bob Goodlatte, winning just under 13% of the vote.
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