Senate District 41 candidates share thoughts on legalizing casinos, alcohol laws

CHARLOTTE — Four candidates are facing off for the new North Carolina Senate District 41 seat.

The new district stretches from west Charlotte to Plaza Midwood.

Channel 9 government reporter Joe Bruno asked each candidate for their take on two key topics for next term: allowing casinos on non-tribal land and loosening alcohol laws.

On the topic of casino expansion, former Skyla Credit Union CEO Bob Bruns sees their financial value but isn’t sold on the idea.

“While casinos could increase tax revenue and jobs for North Carolinians, I think it’s a bad idea.”

Political scientist Kendrick Cunningham says he is in favor of casinos but believes the approach should be calculated.

“Kendrick believes that the NC General Assembly should approach the expansion of casinos in a way that does not prey on the poor,” Cunningham said.

Anti-gun violence advocate Lucille Puckett agrees with Cunningham and believes both the pros and cons of legalizing casinos should be thought through.

“Absolutely, as a Senator, my responsibility is to thoroughly analyze the potential benefits and drawbacks of legalizing casinos in North Carolina,” she said.

Former Black Political Caucus Chair, Caleb Theodros, says the option is worth considering.

“While the revenue generated from casinos could provide a much-needed boost to our economy, particularly in rural areas, it’s essential to approach this decision with caution and foresight,” Theodros says.

On the topic of alcohol law reforms, Theodros wants to legalize happy hours.

“Legalizing happy hours would provide establishments with the flexibility to attract customers during off-peak hours, stimulating economic activity in the hospitality sector,” he said.

Cunningham is in support of legal happy hours, ABC stores being open on Sunday, ABC gift cards, and mixed drinks to go.

Puckett is in support of expanded liquor access.

“North Carolina could make alcohol laws more flexible by looking at how alcohol is sold and where,” she said.

Bruns says he isn’t sure anything is wrong with the state’s current alcohol laws.

“I’m in favor of sin taxes that make things like alcohol and cigarettes more expensive,” Bruns said.

Whichever candidate wins this race will be the next state senator; no Republicans are running for the position.

(WATCH BELOW: PART 3--The Political Beat with Ch. 9′s Joe Bruno (March 3, 2024))