Former health care executive Bill Walczak is one of 12 candidates running for Boston Mayor. In a move to set himself apart from the crowded field, Walczak stood in the center of Maverick Square in East Boston to declare his opposition to a casino at Suffolk Downs.

"We can build a new innovation district as the South Boston innovation district fills up. And it will be filled soon. We need to have one here in East Boston right on the road to the airport." 

Walczak gave a long list of his objections to relying on gambling for economic growth, saying the jobs are low-paying and local crime rates will increase. And he addressed an ongoing debate among candidates over whether a vote on casinos should be limited to East Boston residents or open to all of Boston's voters. the entire city. 

"I think the people of East Boston should absolutely have a say in this, but I think it should be a citywide vote."

Local resident and Heidi Kiewel from the Jeffries Point Neighborhood Association in East Boston looked on and says she still wants more facts, and opinions from other candidates.

“There’s been so many concerns about how this is going to affect traffic, how it’s going to affect the roads,” she said.

The other 11 Mayoral candidates have varying opinions as to whether East Boston or the whole city should vote on a casino. So far, none other than Walczak has voiced opposition to the gambling facility.

Learn more about the Boston mayoral candidates here