Harry Reid, at 75, is one of the longest-serving members of the US Senate and has been a controversial subject for many Nevadans, as well as having supporters on both sides of the aisle.
Announcing Senator Reid’s retirement, the Washington Post wrote, “His departure at the end of the term could set off a scramble among his top lieutenants to succeed one of the longest serving floor leaders in Senate history, whose legacy is likely to be very intertwined with President Obama’s for his ability to shepherd the Affordable Care Act and other key Obama initiatives into law.”
Reid told the Washington Post that he and his wife, Landra, have been contemplating retirement for many years, something he almost did back in 2010 when he allegedly told his son Rory that he was not running for another term, leaving the road open for the younger Reid to run for governor, knowing that as popular as he may be in Nevada, the
voters were not ready for three Reids, if you count another son, Josh, a Henderson city attorney, that by-passed other well qualified applicants.
The Americans United for Change issued an email statement on Senator Reid’s announcement and part of the released statement read, “Senator Reid leaves behind [a] knockout legacy fighting for working families, fighting for fair pay, and fighting to make sure all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care. For all Senator Reid has accomplished toward giving more Americans a shot at the middle class and protecting the health and retirement benefits Americans have earned, and for the work he will continue to do, we couldn’t possibly thank him enough.”
The son of a miner and a mother who washed clothes at a brothel, Reid took up boxing in his teenage years, channeling a temper into sport.
Local businessmen helped pay for his college tuition at Utah State University, and, after getting accepted into George Washington University Law School, he worked his way through to a law degree by serving as a Capitol Police officer. While in that capacity, Reid became friends with Las Vegas Tribune’s then-partner, the late attorney John Fadgen, who later became a renowned attorney and worked as a North Las Vegas city attorney.
An email from Otto Merida, President and CEO of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, expressed the sentiment of many in the Latino community: “Without any doubt, Senator Reid has been one of Nevada’s greatest senators. I consider him my friend, and we will be losing a giant in the US Senate and this Nation. We will miss him.
We caught up with County Commissioner Chairman Steve Sisolak while walking downtown and he sent us an email, as promised, about Senator Reid’s retirement announcement that read: “Whether you agree with his politics or not, Harry Reid has been the most important and influential political figure in the history of Nevada. Whether pleased or disappointed in his decision, I am sure that his family, especially his grandchildren, is looking forward to being able to spend more time with him. I wish him well.”—Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak
Brian Greenspun, Publisher and Editor of the Las Vegas Sun Newspaper and long time resident of Las Vegas, had this to say about Senator Harry Reid: “Reid’s contribution to the people of Nevada cannot be overstated. He is retiring from the Senate where his impact will long be felt here in the Silver State. The full span of his career — from the very early days when as Lt. Governor he helped manage the important transition of Southern Nevada to a world renowned tourist
destination — will long be remembered and retold as a story of courage, intelligence and commitment to the people of Nevada.”
Attorney John G Watkins told the Las Vegas Tribune that “Harry Reid was never so powerful that he forgot his Nevada roots, and it was apparent to me when I received a certificate of appreciation for my military service.”
Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt says “It is an honor for me to serve as Nevada’s Attorney General, and I appreciate the voters for electing me to this important office. We are diligently working to protect Nevada’s citizens from federal overreach, reducing crime in our communities, protecting our consumers and providing critically-needed legal services for our military community. My complete focus is on addressing these and other important tasks, not
on the next election. Senator Reid and his family are to be commended for their decades of service to Nevada and our country.”
Harry Reid’s political machine — which includes many well known Nevada Republicans, among them the famous group ‘Republicans for Reid,’ led by political consultant Sig Rogich — is talking to possible Reid replacements such as Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who is close with Reid, and former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller.
Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers is already in the race as he exclusively announced during his appearance on conservative radio show host Allen Stock’s talk show and later in the week on Face The Tribune radio show, on radiotribune.com.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee, however, said that with Reid gone, the Nevada seat was their “top pickup opportunity.”
“On the verge of losing his own election and after losing the majority, Senator Harry Reid has decided to hang up his rusty spurs,” said NRSC Executive Director Ward Baker in a statement. “Not only does Reid instantly become irrelevant and a lame duck, his retirement signals that there is no hope for the Democrats to regain control of the Senate,” he added. “With the exception of Reid, every elected statewide official in Nevada is Republican and this race is
the top pickup opportunity for the GOP.”