“Even though Governor Haslam signed a bill for wine sales in grocery stores, it’s just the beginning,” said Joe Bell at the Poplar Plaza Kroger yesterday. The manager of marketing and public affairs for Kroger’s Delta division continued, “the campaign is far from over.”
He went on to explain that the proposal must first get on the November ballot. That will be achieved by first collecting signatures of registered voters on a petition. The petitioners must collect 10% of the number of residents who voted in the last gubernatorial election to qualify. This must be done by August 21. Then the names must be verified by the Election Commission which will check to make sure all who signed are registered voters. If residents vote for wine sales in grocery stores, it will not happen until July of 2016.
Bell said “customers have told us repeatedly that they want wine in stores. We will have the petitions available to sign in our Kroger stores.”
Bell was joined by Rep. Antonio Parkinson, a backer of the bill, and Randy Stepherson of Superlo stores. Parkinson (D-District 98) said he is a big supporter of that bill and on that committee. “I have been for it because I believe my constituents and the majority of Tennesseans have the right to vote on it. The petition process is important. It will not make it on the ballot unless there are enough signatures,” Parkinson said.
Representatives from Red, White and Food were on hand at the event and will provide help with the effort. A full list of signatures will be posted on their website.
Channels 3, 13 and 24, along with your Midtown blogger, were on hand to cover the event.