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Oregon Lawmaker Hopes to Ensure Life of Pie

Taste America

Oregon's Blue Dog Democratic Congressman Kurt Schrader is lobbying hard right now - not for a piece of legislation, but for a piece of Oregon blackberry pie.

Shrader,  a veterinarian by training and not known for political theatrics, was in full bore arm-twisting mode last week on his Twitter account, urging support for blackberry pie in an annual competition sponsored by a Capitol Hill publication called Roll Call.

The idea is to prove which state has the best food in America, and Roll Call readers are urged to support their favorite regional cuisine.

Round One started last month with Washington offering smoked salmon, Idaho putting up finger steaks, and Oregon competing with blackberry pie.

Washington salmon was defeated quickly in Round One by frijoles from New Mexico, and Idaho's finger steaks made it to Round Two, only to be outvoted by fans of Montana steak.

At the end of Round Three, last Friday, Oregon's blackberry pie was about a thousand votes ahead of Montana's steak, prompting Schrader to unleash unapologetic partisan rooting on his Twitter site.

The winner from the west will compete with an eastern state winner - probably crab cakes or lobster rolls or even Memphis barbecue - and the top prize will be announced June 11th at the annual Congressional baseball game.

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