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story.lead_photo.caption Former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Henry Hays announces Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, his candidacy for the 2nd Congressional District seat at a Tuesday afternoon news conference. - Photo by David Harten

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.

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  • MenLR2
    October 22, 2013 at 1:37 p.m.

    Go Pat Go ..... If he can get a Submarine up the Arkansas, he will have a Battleship on the Potomac River.

  • drs01
    October 22, 2013 at 2:02 p.m.

    Another political re-tread wants to "serve the people" in what has become the most corrupt and dishonest profession replacing debit route insurance salesmen. B O R I N G !!!

  • 000
    October 22, 2013 at 2:07 p.m.

    Pat drove a sub up nlr's azz.
    Imagine what he can do to all of us from Washington.

  • HawgFan
    October 22, 2013 at 2:46 p.m.

    I didn't realize he was still living?!

  • cdawg
    October 22, 2013 at 3:10 p.m.

    Better read it and remember. This will be the last you hear of his candidacy from this paper.

  • mhck52
    October 22, 2013 at 3:12 p.m.

    Just say "No!"

  • Packman
    October 22, 2013 at 4:36 p.m.

    Hays will be a tough opponent due to his NLR following and built-in democrat base in central Arkansas (blacks, Hispanics, entitlement addicts, whites who fell better about themselves spending other people's money, and anyone who lives in the Heights-but I repeat myself.....). He's above average at stump speeches and has done some good things economic development wise in NLR. But that "D" beside his name will hurt outside LR/NLR and it will be difficult for conservatives in Arkansas to vote for anyone affiliated with a national party that is anti-gun, pro state-sanctioned gay marriage, pro abortion, pro amnesty, pro Obamacare, pro Obama, and aligned with a caucus lead by Nancy Pelosi.

  • HenryP
    October 22, 2013 at 4:43 p.m.

    Is this a joke?

  • drs01
    October 22, 2013 at 5:12 p.m.

    PH Hays.....25 years as Mayor is living proof that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. For 25 years he's had very little competition. Apathy has been his only opponent, and he's beat him to death.

  • GrimReaper
    October 22, 2013 at 9:39 p.m.

    Heaven help us, not more of this parasitic politician please.