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What Ohio Candidates Will Be Stress Eating On Election Night

Republican candidate for Congress Brad Wenstrup enjoying his favorite Graeter's scoops in Mariemont
Courtesy of Brad Wenstrup
Republican candidate for Congress Brad Wenstrup enjoying his favorite Graeter's scoops in Mariemont

This election is going to be a nail biter... or cause us all to go off of our diets in an extreme way. 

Whether a candidate is left of center, right of center, or a member of a third party, the evening of November 6 will be the culmination of a lot of long days and nights campaigning - and a time to celebrate wins, commiserate around losses, and... maybe stress eat a little?

We asked a bipartisan panel of candidates two critical, vital questions: 

  • What do you stress eat on the campaign trail?
  • Where will your returns party be on election night?

We only ask the toughest questions here in Bits and Bites

While we reached out to many candidates, not every candidate had the time to reply on this topic (we know, it's probably more important to us than it is to them) but in the spirit of having a little fun during this stressful time, here is what and where a few local candidates will be enjoying:

Rich Cordray, Democratic candidate for Governor, Ohio

Credit AP/Courtesy

Cordray loves caramel M&M's, grapefruit juice, bananas, and chips, according to press secretary Mike Gwin. He'll take in election night returns at the Ohio Democratic Party's event at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, along with Sherrod Brown and other statewide candidates. 

Mike DeWine, Republican candidate for Governor, Ohio 

Fran DeWine, pictured with some of her grandchildren, brings booklets of her favorite recipes to distribute on the campaign trail.
Credit DeWine | Husted for Ohio
Fran DeWine, pictured with some of her grandchildren, brings booklets of her favorite recipes to distribute on the campaign trail.

DeWine isn't much of a junk food eater, but according to campaign spokesperson Joshua Eck, his favorite food "at the end of the day" is his wife Fran's fruit pies. DeWine will be at the Ohio Republican Party's event in Columbus, at the Sheraton Capitol Square. 

The Green party's Constance Gadell-Newton and Libertarian Travis Irvine had not responded at the time of publication. 

Jim Renacci, Republican candidate for Senate, Ohio

Renacci likes to eat Italian food, according to communications director Brittany Martinez. His celebration will be at Galaxy Restaurant in Wadsworth, Ohio, near Akron, whose menu does include a few Italian dishes for Renacci to enjoy during the returns.  

Sherrod Brown's campaign had not responded at the time of publication. 

Aftab Pureval, Democratic candidate for Congress, 1st District

"Oh, this is bad: Chipotle," he tells WVXU. 

Steve Chabot's campaign had not responded at the time of publication.

Brad Wenstrup, incumbent Republican candidate for Congress, 2nd District

According to his campaign manager, Andrew McAfee, earlier this week they visited Graeter's in Mariemont where Wenstrup got a scoop of Black Raspberry Chip and a scoop of Chocolate Chip. He will share an election night party with Steve Chabot at the Backstage Event Center. 

Jill Schiller, Democratic candidate for Congress, 2nd District

Schiller has campaigned across the eastern portion of her Ohio district, where campaign manager Scott Allison says she has discovered "all of the great food in OH-02!" Her go-to? Zip's in Mt. Lookout, where she likes a Zipburger, fries and club soda with lemon. Her election night party will be held at Fueled Collective in Norwood. 

And here are a few answers from Hamilton County candidates: 

Nancy Aichholz, Republican candidate for Hamilton County Auditor

"I have purposely really amped up the exercise and regular sleep," says Aichholz, a first-time candidate. "But I will say I have eaten more Graeter’s Mocha Chip and Black Raspberry Chip ice cream than I normally do!"

Aichholz does not have her own party, but will alternate between Chris Monzel's party at The Taft Center and Steve Chabot and Brad Wenstrup's shared party at The Backstage Event Center. 

Pavan Parikh, candidate for Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas

Parikh, another first-time candidate, had a very quick answer: "Root beer (this is critical), 5-way, and one cheese coney with mustard and onions is my meal." 

Leslie Ghiz, candidate for Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas

"I've been stress eating espresso Bellevitano [cheese], Halloween candy and, of course, wine," says Ghiz. "Thank God Halloween is over and the candy has been safely removed to my office for others to eat!" Ghiz won't be attending any election day events; instead, she'll be putting her boys (George, 10 and Andrew, 7) to bed and watching the election returns at home: "I may have a very hard time getting George to sleep before he knows something!"

Alex Triantafilou, chair of the Hamilton County Republican Party 

"Ha! Do I have to answer such a thing?" He kindly suggested candidates to contact, and you can ask him yourself at the Hamilton County Republican's event at the Backstage Event Center. 

Connie Pillich, co-chair for the Hamilton County Democratic Party

"During the last weeks of a campaign, I do tend to reach more for cheese and crackers," says Pillich. "And anything my husband puts on the table - he loves to make sure I've had at least one real meal a day." There is no county-wide Democratic event, so Pillich and co-chair Gwen McFarlin will attend various candidates' events across the county. 

For serious election coverage, be sure to follow politics reporter Howard Wilkinson on Twitter (@howardwilkinson) and here on WVXU. (Wilkinson, for the record, stress eats Mike-Sell's potato chips in green onion.)

Copyright 2021 91.7 WVXU. To see more, visit .

Julie Niesen has been covering local food since 2008. Her award-winning blog, , has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today, Serious Eats, The Cincinnati Enquirer (and its former weekly, Metromix), WCPO Digital, City Beat, WCPO-TV, Fox19, and many more. She is a longtime resident of Over-the-Rhine, where she lives with her menagerie of pets. When she's not eating food, thinking about food, cooking food or writing about food, she runs a thought leadership program for a technology company in Chicago.