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When Lawrence J. Hayes was running for a seat in Illinois' heavily Republican 13th Congressional District in 1952, Democratic Party boss Richard Daley encouraged him because he saw winning potential in his name.

"Hayes" was one syllable and could fit on a billboard, and voters wouldn't know whether he was English or Irish, Daley reasoned.

Hayes, who was of Irish and German descent, lost the race and never ran again for public office, but that was not the end of his political career.

"He was much more interested in achieving dreams and accomplishing goals than having his own name being well-recognized," said his wife, Susan.

Hayes, of St. Paul, a political adviser and Twin Cities lawyer for 40 years, died Monday of prostate cancer at a Brooklyn Center hospice. He was 74.

A lifelong Democrat, he helped people whose names often did appear on billboards. He worked in five presidential campaigns -- two with former Vice President Hubert Humphrey and three with close friend Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter's vice president.

Hayes met Mondale in 1960 when the latter was running for Minnesota attorney general. He won.

After that, Hayes worked on all of Mondale's races as an adviser, including the Carter/Mondale presidential campaigns of 1976 and 1980 and the Mondale/Geraldine Ferraro presidential campaign of 1984.

"He was a very close personal friend -- a person you could talk to about disappointments and challenges, and whose advice you valued and compliments you trusted," Mondale said Tuesday.

Mondale remembers well Hayes' calmness when things became heated, as during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where police clashed with antiwar protesters in the streets.

An Illinois native, Hayes graduated from Loyola University Law School in 1949.

He moved to St. Paul in 1960 to become a founding partner in the firm of Maun, Hazel, Green, Hayes, Simon & Aretz, which dissolved last December.

As a corporate lawyer, he was involved in many antitrust cases and was known for his devotion to clients.

"He was doggedly determined to details, a perfectionist to the core and was highly articulate," Susan Hayes said.

When it came to politics, his passion lay with children, families and education. As chairman of the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority from 1967 to 1970, he oversaw the creation of many public housing units along Interstate Hwy. 94.

Besides his wife, survivors include sons Lawrence Hayes Jr. of St. Paul, James Hayes of Northfield, Ill., Matthew Hayes of Winnetka, Ill., Patrick Hayes of Lexington, Mass., and Michael Hayes of Boston; daughters Maryann Hayes of Chicago, Susan Hayes Gordon of Wilmette, Ill., Katherine Hayes of Shorewood and Sally Hayes Wahl of Fox Point, Wis.; a brother, James Hayes, of Kenilworth, Ill., and 22 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Basilica of St. Mary, 17th St. and Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at O'Halloran & Murphy, 575 Snelling Av. S., St. Paul, and at the basilica an hour before services.

Kavita Kumar can be contacted at