Godfather’s Pizza a familiar chain to Iowa voters

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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You may not have tried a slice of Herman Cain’s pizza — but the folks in Iowa likely have.

There are 116 Godfather’s Pizza locations in the Hawkeye State, according to the company’s website. That’s far more than most early presidential primary and caucus states.

The state’s familiarity with the pizza chain is something Cain, the former CEO of the company turned Republican presidential candidate, might actually be able to use to his advantage as he makes a play in the first caucus state next year.

“Folks have been familiar with the Godfather’s brand and Herman Cain’s story for years now,” said Ellen Carmichael, a spokeswoman for Cain. “It’s absolutely tangible to them — whether it’s in a gas station or stand alone store, people know the Godfather’s product.”

According to Godfather’s store locator online, there are only two stores in New Hampshire, eight stores in South Carolina, three stores in Nevada and one store in Michigan. There are 102 stores in Florida.

A spokeswoman in the Godfather’s Pizza corporate offices in Omaha, Neb. did not return a phone call seeking comment. (Cain bashes Romney for playing ‘political games’ with Las Vegas debate)

“A lot of people know the Godfather’s story,” said Carmichael, “how the company was turned around, how Mr. Cain balanced the budget and saved the company in just 14 months and ended up leading his management team to a buyout of the company as a whole.”

Cain has used his pizza background to his advantage before. While stumping in Manchester, N.H. this month, he held a meet and greet at the local Sal’s Pizza. He tasted the joint’s pizza and used it as the backdrop to talk about his own business background.

One fan even showed up with a Godfather’s Pizza box and asked the candidate to sign it.