Donald Elliott Hines (born November 14, 1933) is a family physician in Bunkie in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, who was from 1993 to 2008 a member of the Louisiana State Senate for District 28. In his last term from 2004 to 2008, he was the Senate President under his political ally, Democratic former Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.
Hines completed his undergraduate studies from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and obtained his M.D. from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. He served in the United States Navy from 1959 to 1963 and began his medical practice in 1966. He is a member of the Louisiana and the Avoyelles Parish medical societies. Hines was a member of the Avoyelles Parish School Board from 1972 until his election to the state Senate.
Hines won a special election in January 16, 1993, to succeed Senator John Saunders, who resigned after seventeen years in the office. In addition to his own Avoyelles Parish, District 28 included in 1993 all or parts of the following: Allen, Calcasieu, Evangeline, Jeff Davis, and St. Landry parishes. Hines polled 15,314 votes (58 percent) to 11,094 (42 percent) for his intraparty opponent, I. Jackson Burson, Jr, a lawyer from Eunice.
Hines was elected to his first full term in 1995 with opposition from one other Democrat. From 1996 to 2000, a portion of Avoyelles Parish was also represented in the state Senate by a second physician and a former professional football player, Republican Tommy Casanova of Crowley in Acadia Parish. Hines won his third and fourth terms without opposition in 1999 and 2003.
In 2006, HInes was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. In its announcement of his induction, the Hall of Fame called his a "country doctor ... who became one of the Senate’s most articulate spokesmen for the needs of the working class and poor people." Hines chaired the task force that created the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program. He also authored the Rural Hospital Preservation Act and the SeniorRX Prescription Program. He helped to establish the Gene Therapy Research Initiative.
Term-limited in the Senate, Hines was succeeded by his fellow Democrat Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte in Evangeline Parish. LaFleur won the Senate seat on November 17, 2007, when he defeated in a runoff contest, Donald Newton of Bunkie, a grandson of Donald Hines. District 28, which has been frequently altered in redistricting, now includes Avoyelles and Evangeline parishes and portions of Acadia, Allen, and St. Landry parishes.