ETX alcohol debate gets heated as election nears - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

ETX alcohol debate gets heated as election nears

The group against bringing alcohol sales to Tyler and Smith County Precinct 2 is calling out their opponents on what they call false statistics and biased information. 

If passed, the votes would allow beer and wine sales in Tyler, Flint, Bullard, and Noonday. 

It is a controversial issue that has had two sides debating for months and now that elections are around the corner, it is getting even more heated. 

Back in September, the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce hired Doctor Ray Perryman to determine the economic impact beer and wine sales could have in Tyler and Smith County Precinct two.

"The impact of this new election would create about 1,600 jobs in the local area and around $4.9 million in annual tax revenue," Dr. Perryman said. 

Those are numbers Doctor Mike Daniels who heads up the opposition group does not believe.

"I wonder why President Obama hasn't called these people to find out how he could get the jobs up. Do you know what he could tell America? All you got to do is sell more alcohol and all the jobs are gonna come. Look how much is gonna come," Dr. Daniels said. 

Daniels believes Perryman presented biased information.

"He's associated with the Chamber of Commerce, also the liquor industry. They didn't just bring him in, he didn't just show up; they are all together," Dr. Daniels said. 

Nick Pencis is part of Buy Local First, the group campaigning for the sale of alcohol. He said the Perryman Group is a neutral party.

"Ray's study doesn't build our case, our case is built because of Ray's study," Pencis said. 

"Do I really want to make this place more unsafe for my children? There's just certain choices I deserve to make for myself that another person doesn't get to make for me," Pencis said. 

The opposition group, Stand Strong for Tyler, said they made about 3,000 posters that read, "Keep Tyler Dry. Vote No!"

"We have another campaign starting the next week and then we have another one just before the election," Dr. Daniels said.  

With neither side ready to back down from their beliefs, it is a debate that will last until the end.

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