Delta County: Last dry county in East Texas?

May 10, 2013

If Mount Vernon voters approve either of two alcohol-sales ballot initiatives on May 11 - and voters in the Piney Woods town of Tatum do the same - that would leave Delta County the last dry county in East Texas.

When Northeast Texas voters go to the polls on Saturday, citizens in four communities will be casting their lots for or against measures that would allow, in some fashion, alcohol sales where such sales are not currently legal.

The cities of Campbell, Josephine, Lowry Crossing and Mount Vernon all have alcohol-related items on municipal ballots in the May 11 elections.

Dry counties dropping off East Texas map?

The Mount Vernon ballot has two proposals - one to allow beer and wine sales for off-premise consumption and one to allow the sale of mixed beverages at restaurants.

If either of those pass, that would make Franklin County, of which Mount Vernon is the county seat, a "partially wet" county, like all but three counties in East Texas.

Among counties in East Texas, only Delta, Franklin and Panola counties remain dry. The rest have mixed, or "partially wet" regulations regarding the public sale of alcoholic beverages.

Deep in "The Woods," the small city of Tatum, which straddles the Rusk-Panola County line, will vote on May 11 on whether to allow the sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption.

If both voters in both Panola and Franklin counties decide to allow alcohol sales, that would leave Delta the lone county west of Interstate 35 with dry status. Of the 256 counties in Texas, only 19 remain dry. Of those 19, all but the aformentioned three are in West Texas.

Campbell, Josephine, Lowry Crossing also deciding

The ballot initiatives in Campbell, Lowry Crossing and Josephine won't change the wet/dry status of Hunt and Collin counties, where public alcohol sales are legal, but they would obviously impact the towns in question.

The measures in Campbell and Lowry Crossing would allow sales of all alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption. Josephine's proposition would allow the sales of beer and wine for off-premise consumption.

Campbell is in Hunt County, while Lowry Crossing is in Collin County. Josephine is mostly in Collin County, but extends over the Hunt County line.