Lubbock residents react to historic alcohol election - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/10/09

Lubbock residents react to historic alcohol election

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By Brittany Pieper  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock County is officially wet. There were two alcohol propositions on the ballot. The first is for the legal sale of all alcoholic beverages including beer, wine, and liquor, for off-premise consumption. Of voters, 65 percent voted in favor of Proposition One, and 35% voted against. Proposition Two is for the legal sale of mixed beverages in restaurants by food and beverage certificate holders. 70% voted for, and 30% voted against.

Some Lubbock residents were ecstatic about the results, others extremely upset, but both sides agree they're glad the campaign is over, and the results will change the face of Lubbock.

At 7:02 p.m. Saturday night, and all eyes were locked on the television at both sides watch parties as early voting numbers came in. Before the Elections Office counted the ballots cast on Election Day, the fate of Lubbock was already decided by early voters.

"Really shocked at the numbers. Wasn't what our polling, our polling was way off. We figured it would be very close," said Truth About Alcohol Sales Chairman Brant O'Hair after the first projections came out.  Lubbock County Wins Chairwoman Melissa Pierce had a similar reaction.  "I was surprised. I really was. I thought everything was going to be a lot closer."

At the TAAS party Don Engler, who grew up in Lubbock was disappointed.  He's seen other alcohol elections play out in the city go the other way.  Although a religious group, Lubbock Area Baptist Association, issued the first statement against the alcohol initiative, Engler says he thinks the initiative passed because churches didn't get involved as much in this election as in the past. "I think basically churches have been the ones that have kept Lubbock dry this long, and obviously they've decided not to make that decision anymore, and that's ok," said Engler. 

He says Lubbock will become a different town now, "I think we'll look back five years from now with nostalgia as to the way things used to be. Where you could drive down the street and not see liquor stores everywhere."

However, for a majority of voters, the convenience and economic impact is worth the change.

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Lubbock County Liquor Sales Map
Liquor by the drink boundary and packaged liquor sales map for Lubbock County. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to open this file)

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