Robin Hayes (born August 14, 1945) is a Republican Congressman from North Carolina. He has represented the state's Eighth Congressional district (map) in the House of Representatives since 1999. The district stretches from Charlotte to Fayetteville
Hayes owns a hosiery mill in his hometown of Concord. He was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1992 and served two terms. Hayes was the Republican nominee for governor in 1996 and lost to Democratic incumbent Jim Hunt. Two years later, Hayes was elected to represent North Carolina's Eighth District after Congressman Bill Hefner retired after 24 years of service in Congress.
Hayes has been reelected every two years since, in spite of the district's Democratic tilt. The Democratic-controlled state legislature unsuccessfully attempted to draw Hayes out of office by adding part of Charlotte to the district. However Hayes has managed to win reelection three times, largely on George W. Bush's coattails. In the 2004 election, he defeated Democrat Beth Troutman.
During his 2004 election campaign, Hayes was the second largest recipient of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ARMPAC campaign contributions. DeLay has been charged with money laundering of campaign finances and conspiracy to launder money. To date, Hayes has not offered to return any of the $47,722 he received, despite some criticism from Democrats.
Rep. Hayes has drawn criticism in recent months in his district for voting in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement after stating, only days before, he would never vote for the measure because he felt it would cause further loss of textile industry jobs in his district. Hayes first voted "no" but was chided to change his vote by prominent Republicans in the House. He changed his vote to "yes" and CAFTA passed. The situation was reminiscent of the vote over the Trade Act of 2002, which shifted some trade agreement authority from Congress to the President. Though Hayes had said "We're a definite 'no' until we get some help on textiles," he was lobbied hard by the White House and congressional leadership to vote for the measure. In the end, Hayes voted "yes" and broke down in tears on the floor of the House.
In the 2006 race, he is being challenged by Larry Kissell, Democratic Candidate for the 8th District.