The Modern Whig Party was first organized in late 2007 by veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq who were dismayed by their nation's deepening ideological divide. Clearly, a large number of their fellow citizens were feeling the same way; within a year of its creation, the Modern Whig Party had attracted more than 25,000 supporters nationally.
The USA Party and Veterans Party of America merged with the Modern Whig Party shortly after its founding, and Mike Lebowitz became the first national chair. Lebowitz, a Washington, D.C. attorney and advocate for veterans' issues, had served in Iraq as an elite paratrooper in the Pathfinder Company of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army.
The party announced its first victory with the election of Ken Belcher as Constable of Lee County, Alabama in November 2008. In 2009, Gene L. Baldassari sought a seat in the New Jersey State Assembly, running under the Modern Whig banner to represent the 14th Assembly District. Although he was defeated, Baldassari's run benefited from the widespread support of the national Whig membership and positive reviews from the local media.
On Dec. 12-13, 2009, the Modern Whig Party held its first national leadership council meeting in Washington, D.C. The party's bylaws and charter were published shortly thereafter, with the official name as The Modern Whig Party of the United States of America.
On June 22, 2010, the American Centrist Party merged with the Modern Whig Party. Andrew Evans, the former American Centrist Party national chair, was appointed the chair of The Modern Whig Party after the merger. The next month the Center Party also merged with the Whigs, and in November 2011 the National Centrist Party merged in as well.
During the 2010 election three Whig candidates ran for public office. Jeff Vanke, a college professor, and Kenny Golden, a retired commodore, ran for the U.S. Congress in Virginia. Lalig Musserian, an Armenian immigrant and owner of a small business, ran for state representative in Massachusetts. All three candidates did well enough in their campaigns to spark a spurt of growth in the Modern Whig Party's membership, and all three received extensive news coverage in local papers, and on web TV programs and national radio shows . The Modern Whig Party was also featured in Time magazine, on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and on CNN.com during the 2010 election cycle.
The election results -- the three Whig candidates averaged double-digit support on Election Day, with a high of 22 percent of the vote -- were a good, solid step forward for the Modern Whig Party. Clearly, the message of pragmatic, principled government was finding an audience, and since that time the party has grown to the point where there are chapters in almost all 50 states.
On May 5, 2016 the American Moderate Party officially merged into the Modern Whig Party of America, marking the beginning of a long, two-year-plus period of steady growth. In the fall of 2018 a group of independent parties, including the Modern Whig Party, agreed to merge and form The Alliance Party -- the fourth-largest political party in the country on Monday, Dec. 10 2018, the day of its inception.
But that was not the end of the Modern Whig story. Even as the political operation was spun off to the new party, the Modern Whigs decided to continue their commitment to public service by transitioning to a new mission as a research and advocacy group. With over a decade of experience in civic action, and with the same intentions as the founders had in mind from the beginning, The Modern Whig Institute has succeeded the party as the foundation of the ongoing Whig movement.