Financial records show presidential campaigns’ divided pizza preferences

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — There is accounting for taste – at least when you’re a presidential candidate buying pizza for overworked, underpaid, always-hungry staffers.

The latest round of Federal Election Commission third quarter (Q3) campaign finance disclosures reveal more than the cost of office furniture and airline tickets. They show a deep divide in campaigns’ pizza preferences.

Republican Jeb Bush shelled out $307 for Domino’s Pizza in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during the month of June. That’s 32 medium pizzas at $9 apiece.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has a sprawling campaign infrastructure in Iowa – and her filing could reveal a taste for one of the Midwest’s best kept culinary secrets: Casey’s General Store. For the uninitiated, Casey’s pizza — purchased whole or by the slice from incubated Lazy Susan racks – is renowned by its cult following for bubbling cheese and salty kick.

Clinton’s Q3 disclosure lists $6,771 paid to Casey’s General Store in Ankeny, Iowa. No word from the campaign whether this specific “travel” expense covered pizza, donuts, gasoline or all of the above.

Eleven hundred dollars from former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s campaign coffers also went to Casey’s in Iowa for an “office expense.”

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s team opted for Iowa’s Pizza Ranch, dishing out $31 in Orange City. Pizza Ranch offers every pizza variety, from the “Trailblazer” (meat lovers) to the “Stampede” (everything).

As Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spent time working his way up the GOP polls in June 2015, his campaign charged a total of $106 for Sammy’s Woodfire Pizza in Las Vegas, spread out over three separate meals.

We The Pizza, an artisanal pizzeria near Capitol Hill run by Top Chef’s Spike Mendelsohn, got some love from two prominent Republican senators vying for the presidency. In June, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas dropped $104 at the popular pizza joint. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul spent $203 at the same spot two weeks earlier.

In summary: candidates rise and fall in the polls, but campaigns will always run on pizza.

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