RALEIGH, N.C. -- Adding a twist to blue laws in an increasingly red state, North Carolina's Republican-led legislature is toasting a measure intended to keep the drinks flowing at the Democratic National Convention.

President Barack Obama and other Democratic Party headliners are set to be in Charlotte for the nominating event, which kicks off with a Labor Day party at a stock car track.

The convention is expected to draw tens of thousands of people who will spend millions on food and alcohol.

But the state's government-run liquor stores are closed Sundays and for the Monday holiday, presenting a potential problem for bars, restaurants and hotels that need to replenish their alcohol stocks.

To the rescue comes a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Raleigh sponsoring a bill to keep the Alcoholic Beverage Control stores in Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, open for Labor Day 2012.

Co-sponsored by Republicans and Democrats from the Charlotte area, the measure flowed through the state House last week on a voice vote and is awaiting approval in the Senate.

Rep. Bill Brawley, a Mecklenburg Republican, said helping Charlotte be fully prepared to quench the thirsts of the visiting politicos and media horde is just good manners.

-- AP

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