Princeton voters say yes to alcohol
PRINCETON, Ky. — After countless radio ads, newspaper articles and yard signs urging folks to say yes or no to alcohol, the voters decided.
Voter turnout in Princeton, Kentucky, wasn't quite as impressive as what the county clerk hoped for, with just under half the registered voters going to the polls.
Here's the question posed to voters in Princeton Tuesday, "Are you in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages in Princeton, Kentucky?"
The final count: 1,167 voted yes, while 972 voted no.
The mayor of Princeton admits many mayors wouldn't dare do what she did during this campaign. She took a controversial stand, one that she thinks may have clinched the win.
"I hope that helped to a degree," Princeton Mayor Gale Cherry said.
She may be right. It's a view supported by a steady day at the polls and a pretty resounding answer when they closed.
That certainly wasn't the result Justin Ramey, spokesperson for Champions for a Safer Community, hoped for. His group fought against alcohol sales using signs, radio and newspaper ads, and prayer meetings.
"Oh, I'd say about half ways through when most of the precincts were reporting a few were yes votes, I got the picture," Ramey said.
A decidedly different reaction at this house where the pro-alcohol group, progress for Princeton say they are pleasantly surprised. And it's no surprise Mayor Gale Cherry is with them .
"I felt for a long time we were losing a lot for this community and that I needed to make a stand on this and help put us forward," Cherry said.
She admits it was a risky political move that apparently paid off.
"They know I'm not a radical and I think things through very carefully and look at the advantages and disadvantages," Cherry said.
But Cherry also credits the rest of this group for the win. But now it's over and they pause to celebrate.
The mayor said she's most excited about the economic boost alcohol sales will bring to her town. According to state law, because of Princeton's size, no bars will be allowed, however packaged stores and restaurants will be permitted. In fact, according to the mayor, two restaurateurs have already expressed interest in two of the city's vacant buildings.
The Caldwell County Clerk said she has 60 days to certify the election results. During that time the Princeton city commissioners draft rules on the specifics of alcohol sales. Those interested in opening a liquor store of restaurant will then have to apply for a liquor license.