Why Republican Presidential Candidates Love Iowa’s Pizza Ranches
Many of the candidates are trying to make a campaign stop in all of the Iowa’s 99 counties. Along the way, they’re turning to the locally-based restaurant chain Pizza Ranch, whose ubiquity and inexpensive cuisine have made it a staple of the caucus campaign trail. Full story: http://n.pr/1hwm5TP
- •It has conservative Christian valuesThe company’s vision statement is "to glorify God by positively impacting the world." But the chain doesn't endorse candidates.
- •It's cheap and easy to bookThe mastermind behind the Pizza Ranch campaign strategy is Eric Woolson, who was Mike Huckabee's 2008 Iowa campaign director. He said the chain's values had nothing to do with his decision to hold events there. He says: "They're very accommodating to folks. I think it was a $25 deposit to reserve it and I think also if you bought one pizza you were able to get your deposit back.”
- •It's just the right sizeWoolson also says: "It was just one of those rooms where whether you had six people or 46 people it was just the right size room where the press wouldn't come in and say gosh, where is everybody?"
- •Mike Huckabee was the pioneer on the Pizza Ranch plainsThe former Arkansas governor first used Pizza Ranch as a campaign stop in 2008. At a recent Pizza Ranch stop in the central Iowa town of Jefferson, he said: “When I visit all 99 counties, I'm not going just because I want to see what the menu is at the Pizza Ranch at every place, although we do love these places, but it's really to answer your questions.”
- •Rick Perry is also a fanAt a recent stop at one of Iowa's newest Pizza Ranches, located in Fort Dodge in the central part of the state, the former Texas governor shook hands and braved a scrum of reporters and local Republicans while the lunchtime crowd worked its way through the buffet line.
- •Democrats like it, tooAlthough none have held events there so far in this election cycle.