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Massachusetts governor must decide between tollhouse and Fig Newton

July 3, 1997 GMT

BOSTON (AP) _ The governor is in a pickle over cookies.

Gov. William F. Weld must decide if he’s going to sign or veto a bill that would make the tollhouse cookie the state’s official cookie.

The Legislature has given the OK, but Weld has already pledged allegiance to another local favorite _ the Fig Newton.

``You got to stick with Fig Newtons. Everybody I knew grew up with Fig Newtons ... they’re delicious,″ Weld said in April.

The governor must make up his mind by July 10, the end of his customary 10-day waiting period to review legislation.

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``This one may go to the 10th day,″ Rob Gray, Weld’s spokesman, said Wednesday when pressed about the cookie dilemma. ``There’s a lot of controversy among the senior staff about which way to go on this one.″

The cookie dispute has pitted the town of Whitman against the city of Newton.

Whitman used to be home to the Toll House Restaurant, where the chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1930. President John F. Kennedy used to stop in for batches when he traveled between Boston and Cape Cod while he was a U.S. senator.

Newton is the city for which Nabisco has named the chewy Fig Newton.

State Rep. Kathleen Teehan, who once worked at the Toll House Restaurant, pushed to make the toll house cookie the state cookie at the request of a third-grade class.

Teehan has already tried to tip the scales in her favor. She recently delivered a batch of tollhouse cookies to the governor’s office. There was only one problem, according to Gray.

``I don’t know if he ever saw them. The last I saw them, they were going pretty fast with the staff.″