GOP chairman Hayes won't seek another term

rchristensen@newsobserver.comMarch 11, 2013 

Former Congressman Robin Hayes of Concord, who led the GOP through its greatest triumph in modern times, told party leaders Monday night that he would not seek another term as state party chairman.

In a conference call with members of the Republican Central Committee, Hayes said he would not seek a second full term when the party convened for its state convention in Charlotte in June.

Hayes said he thought the party chairmanship required a full-time presence in Raleigh. And he said at this point in his life, he is 67, he had other priorities.

“I need more time to take the grandchildren hunting and fishing,” Hayes said.

Hayes was chairman during the 2012 election cycle which saw the Republicans gain control of all three branches of government for the first time since Reconstruction. The sweep included the election of former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory as the first GOP governor in 20 years.

Hayes has been an unusual figure in Tar Heel politics – a member of one of the state’s most prominent families who didn’t mind getting his hands dirty in politics. His grandfather was Charles Cannon, the founder of one of the great textile fortunes. But if Hayes was a Cannon, he never acted like a big shot, easily mixing with the folks in the pick-up trucks, as he won election to the state legislature, captured the GOP nomination for governor in 1996, and then won the 8th district seat in Congress where he served five terms.

He was elected state party chairman in January 2011, replacing former Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer, who stepped down to lobby.

Hayes said that while he would step down as chairman, he intended to remain active in Republican politics.

Christensen: 919-829-4532

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