Outgoing Arkansas mayor backs casino plan on last day

Outgoing Arkansas mayor backs casino plan on last day
Issue 4 Proponents speak out (Source: KAIT-TV)

RUSSELLVILLE, AR (AP) - The outgoing mayor of Russellville chose his last day in office to express support for a Mississippi company's proposal to build a 600-room, $254 million hotel and casino in Pope County.

Russellville Mayor Randy Horton, who was defeated by newcomer Richard Harris in a December runoff, submitted a letter to the Arkansas Racing Commission on Monday expressing support for the plan in spite of opposition from some local residents and a lawsuit over another official's similar support.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Jim Ed Gibson, the county judge for Pope County, has also expressed support for the Gulfside Casino Partnership. Monday also was Gibson's last day in office. A lawsuit was filed against Gibson last week.

Harris, who campaigned on an anti-casino platform, says he’s “very discouraged” by Horton’s actions.

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