I have had the honor of working with Sen. Wes Hayes on several legislative initiatives, so I was disappointed to learn he was defeated in the June 14 Republican primary.
Sen. Hayes always championed what was right. He stood with my fellow NAMI advocates and me in passing a mental health insurance parity law — no small feat in a state that abhors a business mandate. Despite lots of criticism and the possible consequences to his own standing in the Senate, he never wavered.
He was the Senate’s champion of ethics reform to the very end. Even in his farewell address the day after his defeat, he still urged the Senate to pass ethics reform legislation. In a show of immense respect for him, the Senate promptly did just that.
Always the gentleman, he asked his Senate colleagues to extend every courtesy to the man who had defeated him.
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I have worked in many state capitals, and can tell you that Wes Hayes stands as one of the finest example of selfless, principled, committed public service I have ever seen. I am sorry to see him go.
J. David Almeida