Ketchup firm upset over Republican remark

Sept. 23, 2004 at 6:56 PM
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PITTSBURGH, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- H.J. Heinz Co. is not amused by a New York Republican's comment that using ketchup is equal to supporting Democrat John Kerry for president.

The company was reacting to a comment by Schenectady lawmaker Jim Tedisco at a Republican rally last week, the Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Saratogian reported Thursday.

"I will not eat one ounce of ketchup until Election Day. I heard they get a nickel for every ounce of ketchup we eat. I'm a mustard man until Nov. 2," he said.

Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, was married to the late John Heinz, whose great-grandfather started H.J. Heinz, which began producing ketchup in 1876.

Heinz sent a letter to the Saratogian saying its "ketchup is America's favorite ketchup and enjoyed by Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike."

Heinz spokeswoman Debora Foster also said neither Kerry, his wife, nor any of the Heinz trusts or endowments hold a significant percentage of shares of the H.J. Heinz Co.

For his part, Tedisco said he was just kidding.

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