|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Louisiana's 7th district
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 1997
|Preceded by||John B. Breaux|
|Succeeded by||Chris John|
December 21, 1946|
Born in Lafayette, Hayes graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (then the University of Southwestern Louisiana). He served in the Louisiana Air National Guard from 1968 to 1974. He was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1986 for the seat vacated by John B. Breaux, the candidate chosen to succeed the retiring U.S. Senator Russell B. Long. Hayes led five opponents in the nonpartisan blanket primary, including fellow Democrats Margaret Lowenthal of Lake Charles and James David Cain of Dry Creek in Beauregard Parish, both of whom were state representatives, and a Republican, David Thibodaux of Lafayette. In the general election, Hayes defeated Lowenthal, who had narrowly led Cain for the second position on the second round of balloting.
In 1990, Hayes again defeated David Thibodaux. The tally was 103,308 (58 percent) for Hayes, 68,430 (38 percent) for Thibodaux, and 7,364 (4 percent) for another Democrat, Johnny Myers.
In 1992, Hayes defeated his own brother, Fredric Hayes, a Republican, with whom he had quarreled. Hayes received 84,149 (73 percent) to his brother's 23,870 (21 percent). A second Republican, Robert J. "Bob" Nain, polled 7,184 votes (6 percent).
In 1994 Hayes defeated a comeback bid by former Congressman Clyde C. Holloway of Forest Hill in Rapides Parish, Holloway's Louisiana's 8th congressional district having been eliminated and dismembered after the 1990 United States Census. Hayes polled 72,424 votes (53 percent) to Holloway's 54,253 (40 percent). Another 7 percent of voters supported a candidate who ran as "no party." In that same election, Hayes' former rival, David Thibodaux, was elected without opposition to the Lafayette Parish School Board.
Hayes left the Democrats on December 1, 1995, and joined the Republican Party. He was one of several conservative Democratic congressmen, mostly from the South, including Nathan Deal of Georgia, Mike Parker of Mississippi, Greg Laughlin of Texas and fellow Louisianan Billy Tauzin to switch to the Republican party around that time, as the Republicans had taken majorities in Congress in the 1994 elections. Hayes then ran for the United States Senate in 1996. He finished fifth in the jungle primary with almost 72,000 votes (6 percent). Republican Louis E. "Woody" Jenkins of Baton Rouge and Democrat Mary Landrieu of New Orleans then advanced to the tightly contested general election, which Landrieu narrowly won.
- "Election Results". Louisiana Secretary of State. September 27, 1986. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- "Jindal Helps Vitter Raise Re-election Cash," Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2008 December 14, p. A17 (Metro Edition).
- United States Congress. "Jimmy Hayes (id: H000390)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
|United States House of Representatives|
John B. Breaux
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 7th congressional district
| Succeeded by|