Former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays made his bid for the 2nd Congressional District official Tuesday, announcing he'll seek the Democratic nomination for the seat Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin is vacating.
At a news conference at the Patrick Henry Hays Senior Citizens Center in North Little Rock, Hays said that the 16-day government shutdown played a big role in his decision to run for Congress, calling it a "travesty."
"Real people are affected when you have what those 16 days gave us," Hays said, alluding to the shutdown.
Hays, who served as mayor of the city from 1989-2013, previously told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he is running for office because of his frustrations with the shutdown. On Sept. 27, Hays told the newspaper that he wasn't considering running for Congress, but changed his mind about 10 days ago.
Griffin's Monday announcement that he would not seek reelection has prompted several Democratic and Republican candidates to eye a run for his seat. Former state Rep. Linda Tyler says she's considering a run for the Democratic nomination, while former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has been urged to seek the party's nod.
Information for this article was contributed by The Associated Press.