Delaware’s Grotto Pizza opted out of a campaign event from controversial Republican Senate candidate Lauren Witzke.
Witzke had announced a campaign event at the Grotto location on Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilmington.
The event that was posted on social media drew criticism and led to a Change.org petition.
The company issued the following that hinted at discomfort over Witzke’s views:
“Grotto Pizza welcomes a community of diversity which includes differences in age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and political perspective. Your beliefs are safe here.
Over the past 24 hours, we were informed a private event scheduled in our Pennsylvania Avenue location evening was actually a political “meet and greet” and actively being promoted by the event organizer. Once this information was confirmed, we reached out to the organizer of the event to inform them Grotto Pizza will not allow the event to proceed in our restaurant.
Although we support our various perspectives, as a business, we believe in being politically neutral. We do not allow campaign events in any of our locations and do not support any specific candidates in any elections.
We request that all guests respect each other and trust we will all gather in kindness and acceptance at Grotto Pizza.”
The Republican nominee is known for her controversial views on immigration and other issues, as well as recent praise for the Proud Boys group for taking on security duties. Proud Boys members are known for their white nationalist views.
She is known for holding small-scale campaign events, often in highly visible parking lots, with supporters holding Trump and Witzke signs.
One earlier event near the Grotto Pizza Wilmington location led to an arrest of a Witzke supporter accused of pointing a gun at a counter-demonstrator. Another event led to an egg-throwing incident that was reported to State Police.
Witzke’s comment on the cancellation that blamed “leftists” was posted on her campaign’s Facebook page.