News Local/State

Chad Hays To Leave Illinois House Seat Early

St. Rep. Chad Hays (R-Catlin)

St. Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) in an undated photo. Hays announced Friday he will resign effective Sept. 7 to take a job with Crosspoint Human Services. Office of St. Rep. Chad Hays

Republican Chad Hays of Catlin has announced his resignation from the Illinois House, effective at the end of the summer, to take a job with Crosspoint Human Services in Danville.

The 55-year-old Hays had already decided not to seek a fifth term in the House. But he says he decided to leave office before his term expired, after Crosspoint’s board voted Wednesday to hire him as their executive director.

Hays will succeed Crosspoint’s longtime executive director Thom Pollock, who is retiring.

“I’m very excited about the endeavor I’m about to embark upon,” said Hays of his new position.

Crosspoint Human Services provides services in Danville and Champaign-Urbana for domestic violence victims, veterans and people dealing with mental health issues and homelessness.

Hays’ position with Crosspoint will continue his work as a healthcare administrator. Previously he held administrative positions with Danville’s Provena united Samaritan Medical Center (now known as OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center), the Family Medical Center in Paris, Illinois, and the Danville Polyclinic.

In politics, Hays served two terms as mayor of Catlin, his hometown. He was first elected to the Illinois House in 2010, representing the 104th District, covering parts of Vermilion and Champaign Counties. In four terms, he rose to the post of Assistant Minority Leader and a seat on the House Executive Committee.

In July, 2017, Hays joined 14 other House Republicans who broke with Governor Bruce Rauner to approve a state budget that included an income tax increase. The vote gave Illinois a full state budget after two years of budget impasses. Shortly afterwards, Hays announced he would not run for a fifth term in 2018. But he says the decision was more for personal than political reasons.

“We’re at the point where our older kids have grown and moved away, our youngest son will be a senior in college next year”, said Hays. “And the timing is really fantastic to turn the page on what likely will be the final chapter of my professional life.”

Hays will continue as a state representative throughout the summer. While the General Assembly is not scheduled to meet during this time, the lawmaker says his office will be open to provide services to constituents in the 104th District. Hays says he expects an interim state representative to be appointed after his departure, to serve the final months of his term. The interim lawmaker will be nominated by Republican leaders in the 104th District.

Republican Mike Marron and Democrat Cynthia Cunningham are competing to win the 104th Illinois House seat in the upcoming election. As for Chad Hays, he says after a political career that began with becoming the mayor of Catlin at age 28, “it’s extraordinarily likely that I have run for my last office.”