January 23, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Voters in Greenup County, Ky., took to the polls Tuesday to decide if the sale of alcohol should be permitted within the county. According to the official certified results Tuesday night, voters defeated the measure with 4,872 votes against and 3,830 votes for the measure.
Greenup County Clerk Pat Hieneman said she was surprised by the voter turnout.
“Turnout was a little larger than what I had anticipated, there was a lot of interest surrounding this issue,” Hieneman said. “I have not gone back to look, but I think the turnout was a little larger than the last primary we had.”
After failing Tuesday night, Hieneman said Kentucky law now prevents the issue from being brought back to Greenup County voters for three years. The issue can be brought up in individual precincts, however.
Tim French, Associate Pastor of Wurtland Church of God, was pleased with the results of the election.
“We believe that alcohol sales is morally wrong and we don’t believe it would be a benefit to our county. Alcohol in the long run costs, I’ve never seen any good come out of alcohol and alcohol consumption,” French said.
French said the church had gathered together with other churches in Greenup County to run a campaign against the measure. As a result, he said, a ministers alliance has now been formed in Greenup County and are looking to meet monthly or bimonthly.
“Since this come up we’ve started a Greenup County Ministers Alliance. We feel there are a lot of things that’s going on in our nation that wouldn’t be going on if the church took more of a part,” French said. “So we are getting that running and moving forward with that.”
Jeremy Bates with the Greenup County Coalition for Economic Development said that although he is disappointed with the results of the election it’s not going to stop them.
“We lost by 11 percent, we had one of the highest voter turnouts in a long, long time. There were 4,000 people that came out to vote for this measure,” Bates said. “We have to wait three years for a county vote but we can bring the issue back up in precincts and cities.”
Bates said he is now going to take some time off to spend with his family.
“I’m definitely not going to just sit by and not do anything. Now I would like to see the opponents of this come out with a plan. Let’s just wait and see if the opponents of this bring a couple of ideas to the table,” Bates said. “I feel like if I wait on that I’ll be waiting forever.”
Greenup County has been dry for more than 65 years.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org.