"We couldn't be more excited." Late saturday night, Lubbock's May election day turned into a big celebration ... at least for the folks with the pro-alcohol group, Lubbock County Wins. Spokesman Melissa Pierce expresses her excitement. "We're very, very happy with the results." But, over at the opposing group's watch-party it was a much different story. As those with the Truth About Alcohol Sales PAC saw the election results coming in, you could hear a pin drop in the room. Connie Curry, the head of TAAS say, "The numbers, when I saw them ... I was just quite shocked. Just didn't expect that. I expected our voters to get out and vote against this. By our polling, it was indicated that it would be much closer." But, close it wasn't. Proposition 1, expanding packaged alcohol sales inside the Lubbock city limits passed by 65% to 35%. Proposition 2, which allows alcohol by the drink in private clubs and restaurants out in the county ... approved by 70% to 30%. "It's gonna be wonderful for Lubbock. Of course, wonderful for us personally because the prices will go down, but wonderful just for the city. It's gonna be fabulous," says one pro-alcohol voter.
"Of course, there is disappointment," says Curry with TAAS. Opposers are disappointed because they say they believe this historic decision is going to lead to very big, dangerous problems for the Hub. Curry says,"The cases, I'm sure are going to rise in child abuse, spousal abuse, drunk driving accidents, and that is a huge concern." But, pro-alcohol voters don't agree. They say expanding sales is going to be a huge boost for Lubbock's economy, through strengthening our tax base and creating jobs. They also say the anti-folks concerns are unfounded. "It will probably be a lot safer for people just to be able to walk down the street and pick up beer instead of jumping in the car and driving," says one alcohol supporter. Another adds, "There will definitely be less DWIs because you can just walk down the street to get beer."
But even with all the differences in opinion, there is one thing both sides can agree on ... a sense of relief that all their campaigning is over. So, now we'll all just have to wait and see what the true effects of Lubbock going wet will be. Curry says, "We fought the fight and we went to the end and that's what we were called to do and that's what we did." Pierce counters, "We're ready for this. We've been talking about it for nearly 40 years now and it's finally come to fruition."