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Stumping and Eating in Putnam County, Ohio

Vice President Joe Biden and family ordering at a Kewpee's in Ohio (photo from flicker)
While campaigning in the critical swing state of Ohio, Republican candidate Mitt Romney made a surprise stop at a Wendy's to do some stumping and eating. It's argued that KFC manager Dave Thompson, the founders of Wendy's patterned the restaurant’s signature square burger on Kewpee's Burger in the Buckeye state. Wendy's like Kewpee's is iconic eatery started in the state of Ohio before going national.  In the 1920s Kewpee built its business on square burgers, malts, fries, and fabulous pie. Like K's Hamburger Shop in Troy, Ohio, it’s another important stop on Ohio’s stumping and eating circuit. The second oldest chain restaurant in North America, today it's a small fraction (four restaurants) of what had been 400 locations across the country. Over the years the restaurant has attracted numerous politicians seeking to gain the vote of the working class clientele in largely democratic leaning and industrial Lima, Ohio located in Putnam County in the state’s 5th Congressional District. Census records show that the county is almost 97% white.  Its owner Harrison E. Shutt, has remained bipartisan over the years, insisting, “we don't take sides,” as a result, politicians of both parties have stumped at his eateries since before the Great Depression.

Series Stumping And Eating With Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Electoral+Politics+and+Food

 Kewpee Oral Histories: http://www.kewpee.com/guestbook.php

History of Kewpee’s and Wendy’s: http://www.kewpee.com/davethomas.php

Pecan History and Recipes Part 1

Stumping in Eating in Ohio Congressional Districts