By Matthew Baker and Allison Ryan
Culinary options varied from candy to full meals among the more public election night parties. Here’s a roundup of the spreads enjoyed by area politicians and supporters as they watched and waited for election results:
- At Verucchi’s Ristorante in Spring Valley, owner Tricia Verucchi-Carls and staff estimated 250 pieces of chicken were served to about 145 people attending an election night gathering of Bureau County Democrats — though, she added, it might have been closer to that symbolic 270 figure on everybody’s lips Tuesday.
The menu for the party included salad, pasta with meat sauce, fried chicken and French fries — typical hearty Illinois Valley fare, requested by state Rep. Frank Mautino.
-There was a sizeable spread at La Salle County Republican Committee headquarters in downtown Ottawa.
A table covered with chicken wings, sandwiches, shrimp and other treats greeted guests as they entered the office. A large pumpkin with “GOP” carved into it served as a centerpiece.
“I noticed the shrimp is going,” said committee chairman Susan Thornton.
The party also featured subs from Jimmy John’s and pizza from Papa John’s. From a corporate perspective, both businesses have sided with the Mitt Romney campaign. Papa John’s chief executive officer and founder “Papa” John Schnatter said that if the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, is fully implemented he will have to increase the price of a large pizza by 14 cents. Jimmy John’s founder Jimmy John Liataud hosted at least one fundraiser for the Republican presidential candidate.
Thornton wouldn’t say if that’s why she chose those businesses to supply food to the party.
“They’ve just been very good to us; Let’s say that,” she said.
- As the polls closed in La Salle County, Christine Benson’s campaign stuff was trying to keep warm in the unheated county Democratic Party office in Ottawa.
“We’re poor Democrats,” said Rosemary Laudani, Benson’s campaign manager.
By that point in the evening, there was little substantial food left for the campaign staffers, but there were tubs filled with candy along with plenty of soda and a few beers to go around.
Laudani said they’d be loading up on sugar, chocolate and caffeine over the course of the night.