GOP leader backs party chair amid casino flap

CHARLESTON (AP) — The West Virginia Senate’s top Republican says he remains confident in the state GOP chairman following a flap over election-year strategy.

Chairman Mike Stuart has been criticized by fellow Republicans and others after calling on voters to repeal table games at a Kanawha County casino.

Stuart says Mardi Gras Casino and Resort should be held accountable for not providing promised jobs and development.

That caught some GOP lawmakers by surprise, and prompted a meeting between Stuart and Senate Republicans.

Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall says he later received a negative text message sent from Stuart’s phone about the meeting.

Hall says he’s letting the matter drop after Stuart denied sending it. Stuart did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

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