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Passings / Johnny Hayes

Fundraiser for Gore campaigns

September 23, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Johnny Hayes, 67, a prominent Democratic Party fundraiser who managed finances for the two presidential campaigns of former Vice President Al Gore, died Saturday of stomach cancer at his home in Sideview, Tenn.

Hayes first managed Gore's campaign finances when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976 and for his subsequent Senate victories. As a fellow Tennessee native and longtime Gore confidant, Hayes was tapped to lead the finance effort for Gore's presidential bids in 1988 and 2000.

"He was a great friend and a wonderful ally," Gore said in a statement. "I never would have been elected to Congress without him. He was the key, for me and for many others."

After being sworn in as vice president in 1993, Gore nominated Hayes to become a director of the Tennessee Valley Authority. In 1999, Hayes left the country's largest public utility to become chief fundraiser for Gore's 2000 presidential race.

After Gore lost to George W. Bush, Hayes was hired to lobby Congress on behalf of troubled electric wholesaler Enron Corp., which collapsed in late 2001.

Hayes also was known for gathering an extensive collection of political memorabilia, including a copper button from George Washington's inauguration, a ticket to Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial and an Abraham Lincoln campaign banner.

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