Gubernatorial candidate Tim James announced that he opposed both the expansion of casinos in the state as well as the lottery. James made the comments while speaking to the Second Amendment rights group, BamaCarry, in Tuscaloosa.

“I am against gambling of all kinds,” James said.

James contrasted his position on gambling with that of incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey (R), whom he is challenging in the Republican primary.

“The governor is all in,” James said. “She was pushing 10 full-on casinos in the state.”

James disputed the view that gambling expansion would grow the economy.

“It is a lie. It is not true,” James said. “Yes, it raises money, but the money it raises is not worth the social costs. The poorest third of our citizens put in 50% of the money.”

James did admit that since gambling would be a constitutional amendment if it passes the Legislature, the governor would not be able to veto it.

“I cannot veto it, but I can speak out against it,” James said.

The Georgia Lottery funds the Georgia Hope Scholarship program, which many people in Alabama would like to see duplicated in the state of Alabama. James admits that the scholarship program has been able to raise a lot of money for scholarships in Georgia but questioned if that was a good outcome.

“Because of the money that is raised in the Hope Scholarship [program], it is putting tremendous pressure on admissions to the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech. You have got to score 33 (on the ACT) to get into Georgia Tech. Which kids get those placements? The rich kids, the kids whose parents are university graduates and who go to the best schools. The poor kids’ parents are paying for the education of the rich kids.”

BamaCarry strongly supported permitless carry legislation, which Ivey recently signed. The bill, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, will end the requirement that Alabamians must purchase a concealed carry permit in order to carry their handguns concealed. The bill will allow Alabamians to legally carry their handguns in their automobiles, under a jacket, in their pocket, in a purse or briefcase without having to purchase permission from their sheriff for the first time in decades. The Alabama Sheriff’s Association strongly opposed permitless carry. They argued that it makes the streets less safe and routine traffic stops more dangerous. James said that he recently heard those concerns while speaking to a law enforcement officer.

“I am a ‘back the blue’ guy. I understand what you are saying, but our constitution trumps any of these issues,” James said recounting his conversation with the officer.

James is a Greenville businessman and the son of former Gov. Fob James. This is James’ third attempt to win the GOP nomination for the office in which his father served.

Lindy Blanchard, Lew Burdette, Stacy George, Kay Ivey, Tim James, Donald Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young are all running in the 2022 Alabama Republican Primary on May 24.

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