Love is bipartisan

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A husband and wife in Tarrant County are precinct chairs for opposite political parties–and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Election judges Kal, 58, and Karen Silverberg, 58, chair precinct 4130 for Republicans and Democrats, respectively.

“We have a tradition,” Karen Silverberg said. “Before we were precinct chairs, we used to like to vote last because we liked to know how many people had voted in our precinct. Now we monitor the voting lines, so we stand at the end of our respective lines so that we will both be the last to vote at 7 p.m.”

Karen Silverberg declined to say who she will support in the Democratic presidential primary because she “doesn’t want to influence any of the voters in the precinct.” 

The couple attended Rice University, where they both studied political science; they met through a mutual friend who was helping carpool to Rosh Hashanah services at Congregation Beth Yeshurun, a conservative synagogue in Houston.

“I was in the back seat, the open seat was next to me,” Kal Silverberg said. “After services, we didn’t want to go back to campus so we had lunch at the Galleria [Mall] and wandered around.”

Election judges Kal and Karen Silverberg, who also chair precinct 4130 for Republicans and Democrats, respectively. Photo by JD Pells

They’ve lived in the precinct for 34 years, and have two children.

Their son has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and is doing a postdoctoral degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; their daughter is working towards her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Saint Louis University. 

“I introduce myself as the dummy of the family,” Kal Silverberg joked. “I just have an MBA from Northwestern.”

The couple said that while their kids have pursued advanced degrees, they children are both interested in politics.

“They aren’t interested in it like we are, but I could envision them doing this at some point in their lives,” Kal Silverberg said. 

Karen Silverberg said that while she and her husband belong to different political parties, they have similar goals for the country. 

“Where we disagree is how to get there,” Karen Silverberg said.