PIZZA POLITICS: Locals cash in on campaign trail stops - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

PIZZA POLITICS: Locals cash in on campaign trail stops

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In a campaign where we'll talk a lot about how much money the candidates bring in, the Eastern Iowa businesses where they stump are hoping to cash in as well.

In the run-up to the Presidential primaries, every candidate wants a piece of the political pie. In Iowa, it's become an informal tradition that that pie be pizza – namely, from Pizza Ranch. Republican hopeful Mike Huckabee campaigned at the Southwest Cedar Rapids location Thursday.

“Publicity-wise, it's great, so we can do things to support different candidates on the trail,” said Brandon Pratt, a Pizza Ranch franchisee and owner of the site.

As for why Pizza Ranch has become so popular with the conservative crowd--

“I think the Republican party as a whole relates a lot with Pizza Ranch, their Christian ideals and values,” Pratt said.

But pizza wasn't the only item on the political menu. Carly Fiorina, known for her work as the CEO of computer giant Hewlett-Packard, made her Iowa debut as a presidential candidate at the Blue Strawberry coffee house.

“Well, it's good exposure and it's really what coffee shops are about,” said owner Mike Monnahan.

Monnahan remembered years ago, when his shop was a hotspot with Democrats passing through Cedar Rapids. Now, he sees candidates from both sides of the aisle. So while the strawberry out front may be blue, it's not necessarily a comment on his politics.

“No one has ever brought that up!” he laughed.

They welcome all candidates, in the name of informed discourse. Especially when a politician brings a crowd like Fiorina, which Monnahan places at about 200 strong.

“Obviously, that equates to an increase in sales,” he said.

To that, he says thanks a latte.

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