Dick Day resigns from Senate to lobby for gambling

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A veteran state lawmaker says he's resigning his Minnesota Senate seat in a month to lobby full time for legislation to expand state-sponsored gambling in Minnesota.

Sen. Dick Day, R-Owatonna, announced Tuesday that he'll lead an effort called Racino Now, a group funded by horse owners, to push for a bill allowing slot machines and video gambling machines at the Canterbury Park and Running Aces horse racing tracks.

Day said the gambling activity would bring in $250 million to the state every two years.

Day has pushed unsuccessfully for a racino measure before, but never worked on it full time.

"I don't have enough time to go legislate 201 legislators, because I have my own Senate district, and we're trying to get roads and schools and a whole host of things done," said Day. "So what happens is nobody is actually stayed on it and talked to legislators every single day about this."

Day said the effort is not designed specifically to fund a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, but he said the revenue could be directed toward that effort.

Day has served in the Senate for 19 years. He led the GOP Senate minority from 1997 to 2006. He lost last year's Republican primary for Congress in Minnesota's 1st District.