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Wine Petition Campaign Concludes with 80 TN Municipalities Meeting Signature Collection Goal


Date: 09/03/14

262,247 signatures collected statewide

PRESS RELEASE

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 2, 2014) – Registered voters in 80 Tennessee municipalities will have the opportunity to vote Nov. 4 in referendums to allow the sale of wine in retail food stores, the Red White and Food campaign announced today.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for the state’s retail food stores and for their customers who want to be able to buy wine while shopping for groceries,” said Susie Alcorn, Red White and Food campaign manager. “Our goal has always been to give Tennesseans the opportunity to vote on this issue, and now they will have that chance.”

Red White and Food, its retail partners, and citizen volunteers collected a total of 262,247 signatures statewide on petitions authorizing the wine question to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot. The petition campaign began in mid-May, and the deadline for signature collection was Thursday, Aug. 21.

“Red White and Food would not have reached this important milestone without the support of our retail partners – including BI-LO, Food City, Food Lion, Kroger, Publix, Superlo Foods and Walmart,” Alcorn added. “Their dedication to collecting signatures in-store made all the difference in the success of this campaign. We’re grateful to the 262,247 Tennesseans who took the time to sign a petition and to the staffs of the state’s local election commissions who were tasked with verifying the signatures.”

Among the qualifying municipalities are Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County, Murfreesboro, the city of Memphis, Germantown, Jackson, the city of Chattanooga, Knoxville and unincorporated Knox County, and the Tri-Cities, including Bristol, Johnson City and Kingsport. (A complete list of qualifying municipalities appears at the end of this document.)

“The massive amount of signatures collected during this short campaign is a testament to consumers’ desire to purchase wine where they shop for food,” said Steve Smith, president and chief executive officer of K-VA-T Food Stores/Food City, and board chairman of Red White and Food. “Our customers have been telling us for years that they want the convenience of buying wine at the grocery store. They made their voices heard in phase one of the campaign, and I hope that they will take that passion to the voting booth on Election Day. We will soon be gearing up for phase two of the campaign and getting all of our supporters to the polls.”

The campaign to place wine on retail food store shelves is not complete. Registered voters in qualifying communities must now vote on the wine referendum when they go to the polls during the general election. Early voting runs from Oct. 15 to Oct. 30, and Election Day is Nov. 4.

In the municipalities where the referendum is approved in November, retail food stores will be able to sell wine beginning July 1, 2016.

Gov. Bill Haslam signed the wine in retail food stores bill into law on March 20, paving the way for the Nov. 4 referendum in qualifying municipalities. In order to be verified by the local election commissions, petitions from each qualifying municipality had to carry valid signatures equal to 10 percent of the residents who voted in the 2010 gubernatorial election.

About Red White & Food

Red White and Food is a coalition of 30,000-plus Tennesseans who want to purchase wine where they shop for food. Initially founded by the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Store Association, Red White and Food is now an independent 501(c)(6) organization that has the support of the state’s retail food stores. For more information about the wine in retail food stores campaign, please visit www.redwhiteandfood.com.

Following is a complete list of municipalities where enough signatures were collected to allow for a wine referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot. This list appears in the order in which Red White and Food was notified of the completion.

1. Newport

2. Church Hill

3. Morristown

4. Clinton

5. Loudon

6. Rogersville

7. Gatlinburg

8. Oak Ridge

9. Kingsport

10. Sevierville

11. Maryville

12. Alcoa

13. Farragut

14. Greeneville

15. Oakland

16. Fairview

17. Lebanon

18. Dyersburg

19. Lenoir City

20. Jonesborough

21. Harriman

22. Knoxville

23. Bristol

24. Kingston

25. Mt. Juliet

26. Pleasant View

27. Murfreesboro

28. Paris

29. Spring Hill

30. Dunlap

31. Smyrna

32. Crossville

33. Unincorporated Knox County

34. Gallatin

35. Thompson’s Station

36. Hendersonville

37. Brentwood

38. Clarksville

39. Savannah

40. Johnson City

41. Covington

42. Union City

43. Pigeon Forge

44. Arlington

45. Lakesite

46. Red Bank

47. Atoka

48. Unincorporated Cumberland County

49. Cleveland

50. Elizabethton

51. Goodlettsville

52. Franklin

53. East Ridge

54. Jackson

55. Lakeland

56. White House

57. Signal Mountain

58. Bartlett

59. Germantown

60. Tullahoma

61. Ashland City

62. Cookeville

63. Collierville

64. Etowah

65. Athens

66. Nashville

67. Shelbyville

68. Millington

69. McKenzie

70. Manchester

71. Collegedale

72. Coopertown

73. Mt. Pleasant

74. Burns

75. Chattanooga

76. Norris

77. Martin

78. Munford

79. Memphis

80. Monteagle

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