MONTPELIER — The founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Bernie Sanders’ home state are putting their ice cream expertise to work to support seven congressional candidates in the midterm elections who they call progressive.
Vermont’s Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, known for their clever marketing and quirky flavors, are working with political action committee MoveOn to create ice cream flavors that reflect the values of each of the candidates. They are seeking the public’s help in naming the flavors. After picking winners, Cohen says he will make about 40 pints of each flavor by hand in his kitchen to be raffled off to support the candidates.
“We need a Democratic majority to check President Trump’s unrestrained power. And we also need to send progressive champions to Congress who will fix our healthcare system with Medicare for All, protect clean air and water, and get big money out of politics,” the duo said in a press release on MoveOn.org.
The candidates are Jess King in Pennsylvania, Lauren Underwood in Illinois, Aftab Pureval in Ohio, J.D. Scholten in Iowa, Ammar Campa Najjar in California, Stephany Rose Spaulding in Colorado and James Thompson in Kansas.
The flavors will be announced on a rolling basis starting on Oct. 7 at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, according to a consultant working with Cohen and Greenfield. People can sign up starting Oct. 1 to enter the raffle to win the limited edition pints. Winners will be announced Nov. 1 and the ice cream will be shipped by mid-November.
Scholten’s campaign in Iowa wasn’t notified of the ice cream challenge. “It’s fantastic,” said Irene Lin, his campaign manager. “We’re very, very grateful,” she said, adding that supporters are having fun trying to come up with flavor names and ingredients.
It’s not the first time the ice cream makers have tried to sweeten a candidate’s campaign. Cohen created “Bernie’s Yearning” in 2016, during Sen. Sanders’ run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.
The ice creams are not associated with the company, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.