Longtime state Sen. Dick Day says he's stepping down to lead an effort to bring state-sponsored gambling to two Minnesota racetracks.
The Republican from Owatonna will leave the Minnesota Senate on Jan. 8 after 19 years.
He will become president of Racino Now, a group funded by horse owners to push for slot machines at Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Park.
Day says the racinos would raise $125 million a year, possibly paying for a new Vikings stadium and other needs including public schools. He says the deficit-strapped state needs the cash more than ever.
Day led the GOP Senate minority from 1997 to 2006. He lost last year's Republican primary for Congress in Minnesota's 1st District.