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Five ETX cities to hold alcohol elections

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EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -

Five more cities have wet-dry elections coming up in the May election. Gilmer, Quitman, Canton, Van and Grand Saline want to join the growing list of cities selling alcohol.

They each have two options on the ballot. One is for closed container beer and wine in stores. The other is for mixed drinks in restaurants, without the need for "private club" rules.

The people pushing to go wet say it has worked out just fine in other areas.

"The DWIs went down [when Wills Point went wet], the crime rate went down so I'm hoping that's going to happen for Van," Don Smith of the Van Zandt Committee for Economic Growth said. "Plus we need the economic growth. More business brought to Van and more restaurants."

"I would like to see our standards and our values remain the same," Max Callahan of the Concerned Citizens of Van Zandt County said. "In my opinion accessibility is a huge factor. This is not a condemnation, in my opinion, on people who do use alcohol responsibly. I just think a community changes when it is more accessible. When it's in plain sight of all the kids in the community."

Early voting for all the cities involved starts April 28. Election day is May 10.

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