PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania politics will take an unexpected turn this week as two top politicians face off in a debate over their favorite convenience-store chain, Sheetz or Wawa. The virtual event scheduled for Thursday night is part of City & State Pennsylvania's relaunch of its list of the most influential people and businesses in the Keystone state.
Congressman Brendan F. Boyle, who will take the Wawa side, and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who will take the Sheetz side, will face off on June 17 over the ongoing, hotly debated rivalry concerning the best c-store chain in Pennsylvania.
“What type of a political influencer event would it be without a debate? Whether it's the coffee, the made-to-order sandwiches or the fried chicken, everyone has their favorite,” City & State Pennsylvania said in announcing the event. “Are you a Sheetz or a Wawa fan? Bring your loyalty card and your opinion in the Sheetz vs. Wawa ‘debate’ between Lt. Governor John Fetterman (Sheetz) and Congressman Brendan Boyle (Wawa). Are you Team Wawa or Team Sheetz?”
Sheetz made national news recently when it announced that it would begin accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in-store and at the pump.
But the passionate rivalry has raged for years.
“Wawa and Sheetz are proud of the tremendous admiration we have for each other,” Nick Ruffner, public relations manager for Sheetz, told CSP Daily News. “Over the years, Sheetz and Wawa have worked together on initiatives and charitable endeavors to benefit our communities. Because of this mutual respect, we have decided not to take an active role in this event, but certainly understand that our customers and fans have a great deal of passion for both companies. We believe that the best way for us to serve our communities is through friendship and cooperation and each look forward to serving customers all across the Commonwealth.”
Philadelphia-based City & State Pennsylvania is a multimedia news organization that covers state and local government, political and advocacy news, and publishes the Pennsylvania's Power 100 list of the most influential elected officials, labor unions, advocacy groups, political consultants, lobbyists, media personalities and business leaders in the state. Gov. Tom Wolf and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will also speak at the main event.
Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz operates 622 stores in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Maryland. It is No. 14 on CSP’s 2021 Top 40 Update to its 2020 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by store count.
Wawa, based in Wawa, Pa., operates more than 680 stores in the Mid-Atlantic region—including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C.—and 210 stores in Florida. It is No. 10 in CSP's ranking.