Two bundles of Pueblo chiles are en route to Iowa, destined to be dished up with fried chicken at a campaign event for presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet this weekend.
"When @MichaelBennet’s team calls from Iowa + asks for us send Pueblo chile, we send ‘em the very best!" tweeted state Rep. Bri Buentello, D-Pueblo, on Friday.
The chiles are inteded to "show the midwesterners how chile is -really- done," she tweeted.
Buentello's former campaign manager — Camilo Vilaseca, now the field director for Bennet's team in Iowa — recently shared a concerning piece of information with the state senator and staunch chile defender: that some New Mexican staffers for another Democratic presidential candidate had "started talking smack" about Pueblo chiles.
"We don't put up with that kind of disrespect," Buentello told Colorado Politics.
Vilaseca "called me at, like, 4:30 p.m. yesterday, and I was all like, 'Hell, no,'" she recounted. "I had to drive out to the mesa. Thank God Musso's is open until 5:30 p.m."
Buentello bought a couple of bundles, had them roasted and sent them to Denver with another former campaign staffer of hers, who ensured they rendezvoused with a caravan of Bennet volunteers headed from Denver to Iowa for the event this weekend.
Sending them via overnight mail would have been easier, she admits, but the post office closed at 4 p.m.
"It's an extensive operation we're running here," she said with a laugh.
The chiles will be served, as requested, atop fried chicken at a Saturday afternoon campaign event in Iowa, she reported.
The battle royale is an extension of the July Twitter feud between Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham over whose state chile — Colorado's Pueblo or New Mexico's Hatch — was the best.
Getting two big bags of chiles to Iowa in less than 48 hours is a lot of work, Buentello admitted. But defending the honor of the Pueblo chile is always a task worth undertaking, she contends.
"I'm a big Pueblo chile supporter, and while I'm not an endorser of Sen. Bennet, I consider him a great colleague and mentor. When the good senator asks for Pueblo chile, I make it happen."
And, "on top of that, you get to one-up the New Mexicans, which I will do every single time, every single day."