Black market booze takes a lickin’

Published 3:20 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2018

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A healthy majority of Claiborne county voters knocked down barriers on Nov. 6 that had kept distributors of black market liquor and wine thriving for a century or more. Tazewell voters gave the ‘thumbs up’ to legalizing the sale of alcoholic beverages in city package stores – something for the county history books. The referendum was adopted by a vote of 309 to 172, according to the final unofficial count.

The city recently accepted the idea of allowing its grocery stores to carry wine. Now, shoppers frequenting New Tazewell grocery stores will have the same privilege. Voters passed the wine sales referendum with a final unofficial tally of 447 to 209.

New Tazewell recorder Linda Stilson said the city is waiting for the official election results. If there is no change, New Tazewell government will notify distributors of the new law.

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Election night saw a couple of battles waged over two alderman seats. Once the dust settled, incumbent Charles H. Brooks retained his seat as Ward 3 alderman. Brooks beat out contender Kenneth Giermann by a final vote of 439 to 181.

Brooks said this term will likely be his last one.

“I’ve enjoyed the time on the council and was able to get one or two special projects done, that needed doing for several years.

“I appreciate the confidence that the public showed in reelecting me. I will do the best job I can, for the city,” said Brooks.

He said he felt “a little sorry” for his opponent, whose run for office was his first one.

“I’ve been through it, before. It’s disappointing, when you get beat,” said Brooks.

Harrogate alderman Allen Hurst beat down the competition for the East Ward seat being waged by contender Larry Eugene Motter. When all was said and done, Hurst handily retained his position on the city council, with a vote of 656 to 131.

Other local races ran unopposed. Harrogate mayor Linda Fultz was relected, pulling down a solid 1,051 votes.

Incumbent Cumberland Gap alderman John Ravnum garnered 55 votes.

West ward alderman Lieven Cox retained his seat on the Harrogate council with a final vote of 219. Troy Poore, who ran for the unexpired term in the west ward, garnered 228 votes.

New Tazewell Ward 1 alderman Stanley H. Leonard reclaimed his seat with a final vote of 475. Third ward alderman Charles ‘Doc’ DeBusk kept his seat, garnering 504 votes.

Roger Poore won the New Tazewell Ward 3 seat with 490 votes. The position was an unexpired term.

In Tazewell, Hannah DeBusk and Justin Patrick Hurley retained their alderman seats with final tallies of 412 and 356 votes, respectively.

Betsy Shoffner kept her seat on the council, with 388 votes.

The Claiborne County Election Commission says the official results should be ready for publication on Nov. 19.