Johnny Hayes; oversaw funds for Al Gore
NASHVILLE - Johnny Hayes, a prominent Democratic fund-raiser who managed finances for the two presidential campaigns of Al Gore, died Saturday. He was 67.
His family issued a statement saying Mr. Hayes died of stomach cancer at his home in Sideview, near of Nashville.
Mr. Hayes first managed Gore's campaign finances when he was elected to the US House in 1976 and for his subsequent Senate victories. As a fellow Tennessee native and longtime Gore confidant, Mr. 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."
Mr. Hayes was prominent in other Tennessee races. He led fund-raising efforts for Phil Bredesen's gubernatorial campaign in 2002 and again when Bredesen won reelection in a 2006 landslide.
"Many knew Johnny as a powerful business and political leader; Andrea and I knew him as a friend," Bredesen said in a statement, referring to his wife, Andrea Conte.
After being sworn in as vice president in 1993, Gore also nominated Mr. Hayes to become a director of the
After Gore lost to George W. Bush, Mr. Hayes was hired to lobby Congress on behalf of troubled electric wholesaler
Mr. Hayes also was known for gathering an extensive collection of political memorabilia, including a copper button from George Washington's inauguration. "I've always been interested in politics, but I got started collecting at the convention in '88, and did it with a passion for several years," he said. "I just have a hard time getting rid of anything."
His collection included a Votamatic voting machine from Palm Beach County, Fla., complete with the butterfly ballot made infamous during the 2000 election.