Sriracha, the spicy Asian sauce, has recently stirred up a heated debate in Irwindale, California.
Earlier this month, the Southern Californian city ruled that the area’s Huy Fong Foods Sriracha factory was a public nuisance after some residents complained they were experiencing adverse reactions to the spicy odor emanating from the factory, including nose bleeds and sore throats.
The strong chili smell led the city to sue Huy Fong Foods in 2013, and owner David Tran was forced to shut down part of his factory this past November. Since the government has officially labeled the factory as a public nuisance, Tran will have 90 days to eliminate the smell or close down his business.
But Republicans in California have come to Sriracha’s defense, calling the ordinance an overreach of big government that would stifle economic growth in the area.
As part of the “Stand with Sriracha” campaign, the Republican Party of Los Angeles County issued a resolution on Sunday, writing that “The Republican Party stands with Sriracha and supports Huy Fong Foods as it continues to grow, create jobs and to bolster the local economy.”
Neel Kashkari, a candidate for California’s Republican gubernatorial nomination, is also taking a stand against the City of Irwindale.
His press office told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Kashkari believes “California’s terrible business climate is making it increasingly difficult for great companies like Huy Fong Foods to continue operating in the state and creating jobs.”
Republicans have also touted Huy Fong Foods as a company that embodies the American Dream.
Tran’s story began when he immigrated to the United States from Vietnam in 1980. He started his Sriracha business by selling the sauce to local Asian restaurants in Los Angeles and now his factory sells over 20 million bottles of the sauce a year.
If the Sriracha fails to win its fight in California, it has a standing invitation to break ground in a state that is accustomed to spicy flavors.
Texas, which has earned a reputation of luring California companies to the red state, did not miss a beat and quickly invited Huy Fong Foods to set up shop in the business-friendly environment after the city’s ruling.
“As a public official and a corporate attorney for small businesses, I am extremely troubled by excessive government interference in the operations of private, job-creating businesses like Huy Fong Foods,” Texas State Rep. Jason Villalba wrote in a letter to Tran earlier this year.
He continued, “The great state of Texas would welcome you and your employees with open arms if you would consider moving… Texas could provide you with exactly what you need to continue to grow, build and maximize the opportunities of Huy Fong Foods.”
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