Following a week of speculation, former North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays announced today that he will run for Congress in Arkansas’ 2nd District. Hays will run as a Democrat challenger to Rep. Tim Griffin in the 2014 race.
Hays, 66, served as North Little Rock Mayor for 24 years when he decided not to seek re-election in 2012. Hays oversaw the largest transformation to downtown North Little Rock in its history, attracting Alltel (now Verizon) Arena, Dickey-Stephens Park, the revitalization of the Argenta district, and a submarine to the river front area.
“I believe in the continued revitalization of Central Arkansas, it means more jobs and more money for the part of the state we all love,” Hays said in his announcement. “I want to grow and enhance our quality of life in Central Arkansas. I promised the people of North Little Rock a few years ago that if they re-elected me I would bring a submarine to the city. Today I want to pledge to you, if you elect me as your congressman I will bring a battleship to the downtown riverfront area.”
Hays stated that he has visited great regions across the country like San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, New York, and Miami. One thing he noticed was that a majority of those regions had a battleship parked in the area.
“We have given Griffin 4 years to accomplish something great for the region,” Hays went on to say. “Has he given you a battleship? No, in fact his voting contributed to many of these great regions having to close tours of their battleships. That is not the kind of leadership we need.”
Hays later told us that he would seek a spot on the House Armed Services Committee to help procure the battleship for the area. Hays says that he will also seek to move the Arkansas Razorbacks to play all home games in the Little Rock area if elected, although he admits that would probably take a second term to accomplish.