Whig Party Candidate Attempts to Make the Ballot in Virginia

You read that right.

Forget what people have been saying about the Republican Party “going the way of the Whigs.” Evidently, the Whig Party is alive and well (sort of).

Yes, the Whig Party of Virginia has a nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 11th District. Peter Carey, a former Green Beret and current director for a defense contractor from Fairfax, was nominated by the party in January, and is still in the process of gathering the necessary signatures (1,000) in order to qualify for the ballot. Should he do so, he will face incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly, Republican challenger Jeff Dove, and Libertarian nominee Stevan Porter. All of the challengers will be long shots, as the Northern Virginia district is about as blue as they come, rated as D+15 on the Cook PVI.

Mr. Carey, whose father was the Mayor of his home town and later a State Representative and State Senator, retired from the Army in 2006 and originally hails from New England. Public service was a family affair, as Carey’s mother was also the City Clerk.

In case you were wondering, the last Whig elected to represent Virginia in the House of Representatives was Charles J. Faulkner, who represented the 8th District from 1853-1859. He later switched to the Democratic Party, and his district became part of West Virginia. After the Civil War, Faulkner was elected as a Democrat in West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

Some events of note that took place while Faulkner was representing Virginia included the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and Congressman Preston Brooks nearly bludgeoning Senator Charles Sumner to death with his cane on the Senate floor (and you think today’s political climate is toxic).

The Whig Party of Virginia describes itself as, “A centrist, non-partisan, independent, third-party, offering our fellow Virginians a practical alternative to the two-party, ideologically driven politics of the day.” I’m not certain as to how a “third party” can be “non-partisan,” but I digress. A quick review of the party’s website gives the impression that the Whigs of today are essentially running on what they see as the best that the Republicans and Democrats have to offer, which I’m sure makes for a unique platform.

As a history nerd and political junkie, I must admit that the attempted revival of the Whig Party is one of the more interesting developments I’ve encountered of late. I am most definitely rooting for him to get on the ballot and make a little history in this year’s election cycle.