While he has enjoyed pepperoni rolls for years, Nelson said he was not aware until recently they are a West Virginia creation. Carpenter brought him up to speed on the greasy treat's history.
"He brought up the fact that we do not have a state food. After I learned the history of the pepperoni roll, the fact that coal miners created the pepperoni roll, that endeared my heart," Nelson said. "I decided it was a good move."
Carpenter started his "whisper campaign" for the pepperoni roll a few months ago. Originally, he wanted the state to create an official "Pepperoni Roll Day" and created a Facebook page to push the issue.
For the uninitiated, a pepperoni roll is as simple as it sounds: pepperoni baked inside a roll.
The idea originated in the early 20th century among Italian immigrants, who arrived in the Mountain State to work in the coal mines and needed a cheap, portable snack for their lunch buckets.
When Carpenter met Nelson on the campaign trail last year, his plans shifted a bit.
"Knowing he was a coal miner, I though he might be interested in a light-hearted bill we could present," Carpenter said.
Nelson is hopeful for the bill's passage.
"Maybe this will turn into a jobs bill and bakeries up in Fairmont will start cranking them out," he said.