SPRINGDALE (KFSM) – The two major-party candidates for Arkansas governor are essentially on the same page when it comes to a statewide vote on alcohol sales.
Republican Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross, a Democrat, told 5NEWS this week they think alcohol sales should be decided at the local level. The two gubernatorial candidates addressed the alcohol-sales issue in separate interviews after appearing on stage together at a candidate forum on July 22 in Springdale. (See video clips below.)
The hour-long forum was hosted by the Arkansas Farm Bureau. 5NEWS Managing Editor Larry Henry served as the forum moderator. (The photo above shows, from left, Hutchinson, Henry and Ross on stage at the forum.)
The group Let Arkansas Decide has been collecting signatures to place a measure on the November ballot that would allow voters to determine whether they want a constitutional amendment permitting alcohol sales in all 75 counties. If approved by more than 50 percent of voters statewide, alcohol sales would be legal throughout Arkansas.
The group submitted its signatures to the secretary of state on July 7 to be validated but fell short of the required 78,133 registered voters and now has 30 additional days to hit the target.
David Couch, a Little Rock lawyer and chairman of Let Arkansas Decide, told 5NEWS he expects the group will be able to gather enough signatures to place the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot.
Other candidates for governor, whose names also will be on the November ballot with Hutchinson and Ross, are Green Party candidate Joshua Drake and Libertarian Frank Gilbert.