Harry Reid

Harry Mason Reid (/riːd/; born December 2, 1939) is a retired American politician who served as a United States Senator from Nevada from 1987 to 2017. He led the Senate's Democratic Conference from 2005 to 2017 and was the Senate Majority Leader from 2007 to 2015.

Reid began his public career as the city attorney for Henderson, Nevada, before winning election to the Nevada Assembly in 1968. Reid's former boxing coach, Mike O'Callaghan, chose Reid as his running mate in the 1970 Nevada gubernatorial election, and Reid served as Lieutenant Governor of Nevada from 1971 to 1975. After being defeated in races for the United States Senate and the position of mayor of Las Vegas, Reid served as chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1981. From 1983 to 1987, Reid represented Nevada's 1st district in the United States House of Representatives.

Reid won election to the United States Senate in 1986 and served in the Senate from 1987 to 2017. He served as the Senate Democratic Whip from 1999 to 2005 before succeeding Tom Daschle as Senate Minority Leader. The Democrats won control of the Senate after the 2006 United States Senate elections and Reid became the Senate Majority Leader in 2007. He held that position for the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency and the first six years of Barack Obama's presidency. As Majority Leader, he helped pass major legislation such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Dodd–Frank Act, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Republicans took control of the Senate following the 2014 United States Senate elections, and Reid served as Senate Minority Leader from 2015 to his retirement in 2017.

Reid was succeeded as the Senate Democratic leader by Chuck Schumer, whose leadership bid had been endorsed by Reid. Along with Alben W. Barkley and Mike Mansfield, Reid is one of only three Senators to serve at least eight years as Majority Leader.

Harry Reid
Harry Reid official portrait 2009
Senate Majority Leader
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2015
DeputyDick Durbin
Preceded byBill Frist
Succeeded byMitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader
In office
January 3, 2015 – January 3, 2017
DeputyDick Durbin
Preceded byMitch McConnell
Succeeded byChuck Schumer
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
DeputyDick Durbin
Preceded byTom Daschle
Succeeded byMitch McConnell
Senate Minority Whip
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
LeaderTom Daschle
Preceded byDon Nickles
Succeeded byDick Durbin
In office
January 20, 2001 – June 6, 2001
LeaderTom Daschle
Preceded byDon Nickles
Succeeded byDon Nickles
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2001
LeaderTom Daschle
Preceded byWendell H. Ford
Succeeded byDon Nickles
Senate Majority Whip
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
LeaderTom Daschle
Preceded byDon Nickles
Succeeded byMitch McConnell
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
LeaderTom Daschle
Preceded byDon Nickles
Succeeded byDon Nickles
United States Senator
from Nevada
In office
January 3, 1987 – January 3, 2017
Preceded byPaul Laxalt
Succeeded byCatherine Cortez Masto
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1987
Preceded byJames Santini (At-large)
Succeeded byJames Bilbray
Chair of the Nevada Gaming Commission
In office
March 27, 1977 – January 5, 1981
Appointed byMike O'Callaghan
Preceded byPeter Echeverria
Succeeded byCarl Dodge
25th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada
In office
January 4, 1971 – January 5, 1975
GovernorMike O'Callaghan
Preceded byEdward Fike
Succeeded byRobert Rose
Personal details
Born
Harry Mason Reid

December 2, 1939 (age 79)
Searchlight, Nevada, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Landra Gould (m. 1959)
Children5, including Rory
EducationSouthern Utah University
Utah State University (BA)
George Washington University (JD)
Signature
Harry Reid's signature
WebsiteSenate website (Archived)

Early life and early career

Reid was born in Searchlight, Nevada, the third of four sons of Harry Vincent Reid, a miner, and Inez Orena (Jaynes) Reid, a laundress. At the time, Searchlight was a small impoverished town.[1] His father died by suicide in 1972, at age 58, when Harry was 32 years old.[2][3] His paternal grandmother was an English immigrant from Darlaston, Staffordshire. Reid's boyhood home was a shack with no indoor toilet, hot water, or telephone.[2][4]

Since Searchlight had no high school, Reid boarded with relatives 40 miles away in Henderson, Nevada to attend Basic High School,[2] where he played football, and was an amateur boxer.[5] While at Basic High, he met future Nevada governor Mike O'Callaghan, who was a teacher there and served as Reid's boxing coach. Reid attended Southern Utah University, and graduated from Utah State University where he double majored in political science and history.[6] He minored in economics at Utah State's School of Commerce and Business Administration.[7] He then went to George Washington University Law School earning a J.D., while working as a police officer for the United States Capitol Police.[1]

Early political career

State politics

Reid returned to Nevada after law school and served as Henderson city attorney before being elected to the Nevada Assembly for the multi-member fourth district of Clark County in 1968. In 1970, at age 30, Reid was chosen by O'Callaghan as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada. Reid and O'Callaghan won their respective races, and Reid served as lieutenant governor from 1971 until 1974, when he ran for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Alan Bible. He lost by fewer than 700 votes to former governor Paul Laxalt. In 1975, Reid ran for mayor of Las Vegas and lost to Bill Briare.[8]

Reid served as chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1981. When Jack Gordon, La Toya Jackson's future agent and husband, offered Reid a $12,000 bribe to get approval of new games for casinos, Reid brought in the FBI to tape Gordon's bribery attempt and arrest him. After FBI agents interrupted the transaction, as prearranged, Reid lost his temper and attempted to choke Gordon, saying "You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!" before agents stopped him. Gordon was convicted in 1979 and sentenced to six months in prison. In 1981, Reid's wife found a bomb attached to the family station wagon; Reid suspected it was placed by Gordon, although this has never been proven in a court of law.[2]

U.S. Representative

Prior to the 1980 Census, Nevada had only a single at-large member in the United States House of Representatives, but population growth in the 1970s resulted in the state picking up a second district. Reid won the Democratic nomination for the 1st district, based in Las Vegas, in 1982, and easily won the general election. He served two terms in the House, from 1983 to 1987.

U.S. Senate

Harry Reid official portrait
Reid in 2002

Elections

In 1986, Reid won the Democratic nomination for the seat of retiring two-term incumbent Republican Senator Paul Laxalt. Reid defeated former at-large Congressman Jim Santini, a Democrat who had turned Republican, in the November election. Reid ran for reelection in 1992 which he won by a double-digit margin. In 1998 he narrowly defeated 1st District Congressman John Ensign in the midst of a statewide Republican sweep. In 2004, Reid won reelection with 61 percent of the vote, defeating Richard Ziser, and gaining the endorsement of several Republicans.

Ensign was elected to Nevada's other Senate seat in 2000. Ensign and Reid had a very good relationship despite their bitter contest in 1998. The two frequently worked together on Nevada issues until Ensign was forced to resign from his Senate seat, due to an ethics scandal.[9]

Reid won the Democratic nomination with 75% of the vote in the June 8 primary. He faced a very competitive general election for the Senate in Nevada in 2010. Reid engaged in a $1 million media campaign to "reintroduce himself" to the state's voters.[10] He defeated Republican challenger Sharron Angle in the November election, 50.3% to 44.6%, despite losing 14 of Nevada's 17 counties.

In January, 2015, Reid suffered severe injuries in an exercise accident.[11] On March 27, 2015, Reid uploaded a video to his YouTube account announcing that he would not seek re-election in November 2016. Reid endorsed New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) to succeed him as Minority Leader.[12] He was succeeded by former Nevada Attorney General and fellow Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.

On January 1, 2017, two days before the end of his term, Reid surpassed Sen. John P. Jones to become the longest-serving Senator from Nevada.[13]

Leadership

From 1999 to 2005, Reid served as Senate Democratic Whip, as minority whip from 1999 to 2001, and again from 2003 to 2005. Reid was majority whip from 2001 to 2003, except for a brief period from January to May 2001. From 2001 to 2003, he served as chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee. Reid succeeded Tom Daschle as minority leader in 2005, and became majority leader after the 2006 election until 2015.

Committee assignments

Political positions

Reid scored a lifetime conservative rating of 19% from the American Conservative Union (ACU),[14] and a 2008 liberal rating of 70% from the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA).[15] Other independent ratings include a 29% rating in 2003 from NARAL, the abortion rights group,[16] an 85% rating from Planned Parenthood in 2013,[17] and a "B" rating from the National Rifle Association.[18]

Reid and Obama 3.30.09
President Barack Obama shakes hands with Reid after signing the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 on March 30, 2009.

Reid spearheaded several initiatives while in Congress. In 2006, Reid co-sponsored the "Prevention First Amendment" with Hillary Clinton, which would fund abortion prevention efforts such as giving women broader access to contraception. The bill faced Republican opposition and failed.[19] In January 2007, Reid brought a Senate ethics reform bill to a vote to bar congressional members from accepting gifts, meals, and trips from lobbyists and organizations employing lobbyists, to bar Senators from borrowing corporate jets for travel, and to compel Senators to disclose names of sponsors, or authors, of bills and projects. The bill passed 96–2.[20] In the 111th Congress, Reid shepherded the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) through the Senate.

Reid believed that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, and in 1999, voted against an amendment that supported Roe.[21] He stated that he believed in a restricted right to abortion, stating that "abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered."[22] He voted several times to ban the "intact dilation and evacuation", or "partial-birth abortion" procedure.[23] Reid supported embryonic stem cell research.[24]

Regarding same-sex marriage, Reid initially believed that "marriage should be between a man and a woman", but abandoned that position in favor of same-sex marriage in 2012.

In regard to local issues, Reid firmly opposed construction of the proposed Yucca Mountain federal nuclear waste repository in Nevada.[25] Reid opposed legalization of online poker, but has recently changed his position, a move that some have argued was influenced by "the hundreds of thousands of dollars Las Vegas casinos contributed to his re-election campaign".[26]

Harry Reid SCHIP
Reid speaking at the State Children's Health Insurance Program Art Exhibit press conference

Reid called immigration reform one of his priorities at the 110th Congress. He supports the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act), which would give certain high school graduates who had arrived in the U.S. illegally, conditional legal status so they could attend college or enlist in the military. They could then obtain permanent legal residency after completing two years of military service or two years of college.[27] In June 2009, Reid announced his intention to enact a new guest worker program as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.[28]

Reid supported use of force in the Middle East, but in September 2007, called for a drastic change in strategy. In January 1991, Reid voted to authorize the first Gulf War,[29] quoting John F. Kennedy's 1963 State of the Union speech on the Senate floor, saying "the mere absence of war is not peace."[30][31] He also voted in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[32][33] In March 2007, he voted in favor of "redeploying U.S. troops out of Iraq by March 2008",[33] and later that year, said, "As long as we follow [President Bush's] path in Iraq, the war is lost."[34]

Reid is a strong advocate of recognizing the Armenian genocide.[35]

Reid advocated outlawing prostitution in Nevada.[36]

On May 15, 2013, Reid revealed to reporters that his niece is a lesbian as he spoke about his hope that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would be signed into law.[37]

Conservation legacy

Over the course of a career spanning nearly 35 years, Reid has been a major advocate of land conservation in Nevada.[38][39] He successfully secured the designation of about 5.1 million acres of federal land in Nevada as protected land, shielding them from development.[38] Among these were the Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument,[40] the Basin and Range National Monument,[39] and the Gold Butte National Monument.[38]

In 2015, Reid received a lifetime achievement award from the League of Conservation Voters,[39] and the following year he was honored by the Conservation Lands Foundation for "historic contributions to conservation."[41]

Criticism

Liberal critics have argued that Reid was not doing enough to end the American military presence in Iraq,[42] and that he allowed Senate Republicans to create a 60-vote bar for passage of bills without a Democratic filibuster.[43][44][45] Conservatives have criticized Reid for his extensive use of the procedural tactic known as "Filling the tree" to prevent amendments on important bills.[46]

Reid has also been criticized for several potentially self-enriching tactics. In 2005, Reid earmarked a spending bill to provide for building a bridge between Nevada and Arizona that would make land he owned more valuable. Reid called funding for construction of a bridge over the Colorado River, among other projects, "incredibly good news for Nevada" in a news release after passage of the 2006 transportation bill. He owned 160 acres (65 ha) of land several miles from the proposed bridge site in Arizona. The bridge could add value to his real estate investment.[47] A year later it was reported that Reid had used campaign donations to pay for $3,300 in Christmas gifts to the staff at the condominium where he resides;[48] federal election law prohibits candidates from using political donations for personal use. Reid's staff stated that his campaign attorneys had approved this use of the funds, but that Reid would personally reimburse his campaign for the expenses. Citizens United filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission to investigate the matter.[49]

A series of investigative reports in the Los Angeles Times[50][51][52][53] suggested that Reid had introduced legislation and imposed pressure on regulatory agencies to advance the business interests of his close friend Harvey Whittemore, a Nevada attorney-lobbyist who contributed heavily to Reid's campaigns and leadership fund and who employed Reid's son Leif as his personal attorney. With Reid's help, Whittemore was able to proceed with construction of a $30 billion planned golf course development, Coyote Springs, a project heavily criticized by environmental groups for reasons including its projected effects on several endangered species.[54][55] Whittemore served a two-year prison sentence after being found guilty in 2013 of funneling $133,400 in illegal contributions to Reid's reelection campaign.[56]

In 2006, the National Republican Senatorial Committee attempted to associate Reid with the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal by pointing out he had "received more than $50,000 from four tribes with gaming interests between 2001 and 2004 after they hired Abramoff". Reid denied any wrongdoing, and media reported that the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan research group, had produced an analysis showing a general increase in the amount and number of contributions by Indian tribes since the late 1990s.[57][58]

Reid apologized on January 9, 2010, for racially tinged comments he had made when Obama was campaigning for president. In private conversations, Reid had remarked that Obama could win the Presidency, because the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama — to whom he referred as being "light-skinned" and "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one". These comments had been recently revealed by journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in Game Change, their book about the 2008 United States presidential election. In addition to his public apology, Reid called Obama to apologize; Obama accepted his apology, stating that as far as he was concerned, the book was closed on the incident.[59][60][61] RNC Chairman Michael Steele and Senators John Cornyn and Jon Kyl called on Reid to resign his leadership position in the Senate, citing Majority Leader Trent Lott resigning because of a statement relating to race. However, multiple experts said there was virtually no chance of that. DNC Chairman Tim Kaine and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Jack Reed expressed support for Reid and confidence he would retain his leadership position, and another senior Democrat indicated Reid has "produced supportive statements from key African American leaders in the Congress and civil rights community".[62]

In August 2010, Reid spoke in front of National Council of La Raza: "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK. Do I need to say more?"[63] The following day, Dr. Manny Alvarez and Republican Senator Marco Rubio, both of Hispanic descent, spoke out against Reid's remarks.[64]

Mitt Romney

During the summer of 2012, Reid said during an interview with The Huffington Post that he had received information from an unidentified investor in Bain Capital that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney did not pay any taxes for 10 years.[65] The accusation was repeated on the Senate floor by Reid on August 2, 2012.[66][67] According to CBS News, Romney stated, "Let me also say, categorically, I have paid taxes every year -- and a lot of taxes. So Harry is simply wrong." PolitiFact.com's Truth-O-Meter rated the accusation as "Pants on Fire!"[68] The Washington Post's Fact Checker gave it "Four Pinnocchios".[69] CBS reported that Romney had submitted 23 years of tax returns to the John McCain campaign in 2008, when he was being vetted for the vice presidential nomination. McCain said, "[n]othing in these tax returns showed that he did not pay taxes."[70] After the election, Reid called the attack "one of the best things I've ever done". He also said, "Romney didn't win, did he?"[69]

Koch brothers

Reid has excoriated the Koch brothers, who contribute to Republican, conservative and/or libertarian political causes and candidates. In the first seven months of 2014, Reid mentioned the Kochs in 22 separate floor speeches, calling them out about 250 times.[71] Reid used the term "un-American" to describe the brothers.

It's too bad that they are trying to buy America. And it's time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers, who are about as un-American as anyone that I can imagine.[72]

MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough compared Reid's comments to "McCarthyism",[73] and National Review editor Rich Lowry condemned Reid's comments.[74]

In 2012, Reid cited fellow U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who claimed the Koch brothers were "funding think tanks spreading an enormous amount of disinformation about Social Security".[75][76] Two years later, in 2014, Reid accused the brothers of having Republicans stall aid to Ukraine by pushing for amendments like a delay of regulation by the IRS of non-profit political advocacy groups to be included in the aid package.[77] Reid "credited his wife, Landra, for likening the Republicans' Ukrainian stance to a 'Koch addiction'".[78]

Donald Trump

In January 2019, as part of an interview with The New York Times Magazine, Reid called President Donald Trump an "amoral" person and said he's "the worst President we've ever had".[79]

Cultural and political image

Harry Reid DNC 2008
Reid speaks during the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

Part of Reid's confrontation with Frank Rosenthal while chair of the Nevada Gaming Commission is reenacted in the 1995 movie Casino.[80] Reid had a role in the movie Traffic (2000), in which he played himself.[81] He appeared, with Senators Sam Brownback and Barack Obama, in the 2007 documentary film Sand and Sorrow, which details the genocide in Sudan.[82]

Reid was elected to the Gaming Hall of Fame in 2001.[83] In 2013, adviser Jim Margolis said of Reid, "He is unique in this city. And you see it in so many different ways. Is he the best TV talking head? No. He'd be the first to tell you that. Should he smile more? Yes. Should he say goodbye on the phone when he's done talking to you? Probably. But those are things you'd assume are part and parcel of a polished figure in Washington. That is not Harry Reid."[4]

Personal life

In 1959, Reid married his high school girlfriend, Landra Gould. They have five children: a daughter and four sons. Their eldest son, Rory, was an elected commissioner for Clark County, Nevada, of which he became chairman, and 2010 Democratic nominee in the election for Governor of Nevada. Another son ran for municipal office in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.[84] According to Center for Responsive Politics, as of 2010, Reid's net worth was between $3.3 million and $10.3 million.[85][86]

Obama family tree
Harry Reid (far left) and LDS leaders, Thomas S. Monson and Dallin H. Oaks, (center and far right) presenting family history to U.S. President Obama.

Reid and his family reside in the Anthem area of Henderson, Nevada.[87] Reid (who was raised agnostic) and his wife (who was born to Jewish immigrant parents and grew up in Henderson) converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while he was a college student.[2] In a 2001 interview he said, "I think it is much easier to be a good member of the Church and a Democrat than a good member of the Church and a Republican." He went on to say that the Democrats' emphasis on helping others, as opposed to what he considers Republican dogma to the contrary, is the reason he's a Democrat.[88] He delivered a speech at Brigham Young University to about 4,000 students on October 9, 2007, in which he expressed his opinion that Democratic values mirror Mormon values.[89][90] Several Republican Mormons in Utah have contested his faith because of his politics, such as his statements that the church's backing of California's Proposition 8 wasted resources.[91]

In September, 2011, Reid's wife was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.[92] Reid is the co-chairman of the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.[93] In April, 2015, Reid confirmed former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[94]

Health

Injury

On January 1, 2015, Reid was injured while exercising in his home—a piece of equipment he was using broke, causing him to fall. As a result, Reid suffered broken ribs, broken facial bones and was at risk of permanent vision loss in his right eye.[95] On January 26, 2015, Reid underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his right eye and repair facial bones.[96]

Pancreatic cancer

On May 14, 2018, Reid had surgery for pancreatic cancer at Johns Hopkins Cancer Center after a tumor was found on his pancreas during a routine screening.[97] In a January 2019 interview with The New York Times, it was revealed that Reid was confined to a desk at his home and was unable to move without the aid of a walker.[98] Upon his diagnosis, Reid said: "As soon as you discover you have something on your pancreas, you’re dead".[98] On February 25th, Reid announced that due to early detection and chemotherapy, his cancer is in remission.[99]

References

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  2. ^ a b c d e Walsh, Elsa (August 8, 2005). "Minority Retort: How a pro-gun, anti-abortion Nevadan leads the Senate's Democrats". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sen. Reid releases statement on his father's suicide 37 years ago".
  4. ^ a b Peters, Jeremy W. (October 2, 2013). "In Showdown With G.O.P., a Scrappy Reid Plays Hardball". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Smith, Christopher (June 9, 2001). Senate's New Majority Whip: Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. Salt Lake Tribune.
  6. ^ "Alumni in Politics: From Old Main Hill to Capitol Hill". Utah State University. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
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External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Edward Fike
Lieutenant Governor of Nevada
1971–1975
Succeeded by
Robert E. Rose
Party political offices
Preceded by
Alan Bible
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Nevada
(Class 3)

1974
Succeeded by
Mary Gojack
Preceded by
Mary Gojack
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Nevada
(Class 3)

1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010
Succeeded by
Catherine Cortez Masto
Preceded by
Tom Daschle
George J. Mitchell
Chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee
1995–1999
Served alongside: Tom Daschle
Succeeded by
Byron Dorgan
Preceded by
Wendell H. Ford
Senate Democratic Whip
1999–2005
Succeeded by
Dick Durbin
Preceded by
Tom Daschle
Senate Democratic Leader
2005–2017
Succeeded by
Chuck Schumer
Preceded by
Tom Daschle
Nancy Pelosi
Response to the State of the Union address
2005
Served alongside: Nancy Pelosi
Succeeded by
Tim Kaine
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Santini
At-large district
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 1st congressional district

1983–1987
Succeeded by
James Bilbray
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Paul Laxalt
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Nevada
1987–2017
Served alongside: Chic Hecht, Dick Bryan, John Ensign, Dean Heller
Succeeded by
Catherine Cortez Masto
Preceded by
Richard Bryan
Ranking Member of the Senate Ethics Committee
1997–2001
Succeeded by
Pat Roberts
Preceded by
Wendell Ford
Senate Minority Whip
1999–2001
Succeeded by
Don Nickles
Preceded by
Don Nickles
Senate Majority Whip
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Mitch McConnell
Preceded by
Pat Roberts
Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee
2001–2003
Succeeded by
George Voinovich
Preceded by
Don Nickles
Senate Minority Whip
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Dick Durbin
Preceded by
Tom Daschle
Senate Minority Leader
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Mitch McConnell
Preceded by
Bill Frist
Senate Majority Leader
2007–2015
Preceded by
Mitch McConnell
Senate Minority Leader
2015–2017
Succeeded by
Chuck Schumer
1974 United States Senate election in Nevada

The 1974 United States Senate election in Nevada was held on November 4, 1974. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Alan Bible decided to retire instead of seeking a fourth full term. Republican nominee Paul Laxalt won the open seat.

Paul Laxalt, former Governor (1967–1971) and former Lieutenant Governor of Nevada (1963–1967), won by less than 700 votes, becoming one of the few bright spots in a bad year for Republicans. He beat Harry Reid, Lieutenant Governor of Nevada since 1971 and former State Assemblyman (1968–1970).

Bible resigned three weeks early (on December 17, 1974) and on one day later Nevada Democratic Governor Mike O'Callaghan appointed Laxalt to finish out that term. When Laxalt retired in 1986, Harry Reid won the seat that he lost in this election.

1986 United States Senate election in Nevada

The 1986 United States Senate election in Nevada was held on November 4, 1986. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt decided to retire instead of seeking a third term. U.S. Representative Democratic nominee Harry Reid won the open seat.

1992 United States Senate election in Nevada

The 1992 United States Senate election in Nevada was held on November 3, 1992. Although nearly 10% of the electorate voted for neither of the two major U.S. political parties, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid ultimately won a majority of votes cast and, with that, re-election to a second term.

1998 United States Senate election in Nevada

The 1998 United States Senate election in Nevada was held on November 3, 1998. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid won re-election to a third term.

2004 United States Senate election in Nevada

The 2004 United States Senate election in Nevada was held on November 2, 2004. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Whip, won re-election to a fourth term.

2010 United States Senate election in Nevada

The 2010 United States Senate election in Nevada took place on November 2, 2010. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator and Majority Leader Harry Reid won re-election to a fifth term.

2016 United States Senate election in Nevada

The 2016 United States Senate election in Nevada was held November 8, 2016 to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Nevada, concurrently with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. The state primary election was held June 14, 2016.Incumbent Democratic Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader, initially said he would seek re-election to a sixth term, but announced on March 26, 2015, that he would retire instead.Catherine Cortez Masto (D) defeated Joe Heck (R) in the general election on November 8, 2016. Heck won sixteen out of the state's seventeen counties and equivalents. Cortez Masto won only Clark County, which comprises nearly three-fourths of the state's population. However, she did so by over 82,000 votes, allowing her to defeat Heck statewide by almost 27,000 votes.

Catherine Cortez Masto

Catherine Marie Cortez Masto (born March 29, 1964) is an American attorney and politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Nevada, in office since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the 32nd Attorney General of Nevada (2007–2015).

Cortez Masto graduated from University of Nevada, Reno and Gonzaga University School of Law. She worked four years as a civil attorney in Las Vegas and two years as a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. before being elected Nevada Attorney General in 2006 to replace George Chanos. Reelected in 2010, she was not eligible to run for a third term in 2014 because of lifetime term limits established by the Constitution of Nevada.

Cortez Masto defeated Joe Heck in the U.S. Senate election in Nevada to replace outgoing Democratic Senator Harry Reid, becoming the first woman elected to represent Nevada in the Senate and the first Latina elected to serve in the Senate. She took office on January 3, 2017, and became Nevada's senior senator when Dean Heller left office in January 2019.

Harry Reid (actor)

Harry Reid (born 22 June 1992) is a British actor, known for his role as Ben Mitchell in the BBC soap opera, EastEnders from 2014 until 2018.

Harry Reid (bishop)

Harry Seymour Reid (30 June 1866 - 18 January 1943) was Bishop of Edinburgh from 1929 until 1939.

Harry Reid (journalist)

Harry Reid (born Glasgow 1947) is a Scottish journalist and author, best known for having been the editor of The Herald newspaper in Scotland. His first book, Dear Country: A Quest for England, was published in 1991.

He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, Fettes College and Worcester College, Oxford, where he read modern history.

On leaving Oxford in 1969 he went to Newcastle upon Tyne, where he trained as a journalist. He then worked on The Scotsman in Edinburgh from 1970 till 1981. In 1973 he was the paper's first full-time education correspondent and in 1977 he became The Scotsman's features and literary editor. In 1981 he moved to Glasgow to be sports and leisure editor on the short-lived Sunday Standard. In 1982 he switched to The Herald as an executive editor. He was appointed deputy editor in 1984. In 1997 he was appointed editor, a position he held through 2000. From 1999 to 2001 he chaired the Scottish Editors' Committee. In 2001 he received the Lord Provost of Glasgow's Medal "for giving Glasgow a Voice".

In 2001 he was commissioned to write a major "outsider's critique" of Scotland's national church, the Church of Scotland. To help with the research he was given a visiting fellowship by the Faculty of Divinity, New College, Edinburgh. The resultant book, Outside Verdict: An Old Church in the New Scotland was published by Saint Andrew PressOther books include: Dear Country: A Quest for England (Mainstream Publishing, 1991); The Final Whistle: Scottish Football - The Best and Worst of Times (Birlinn Limited, 2005); Deadline: The Story of the Scottish Press (Saint Andrew Press in association with the BBC, 2006) and Reformation: The Dangerous Birth of the Modern World (Saint Andrew Press, 2009)

Harvey Whittemore

Frederick Harvey Whittemore (born August 17, 1952) is an American lawyer and businessman in the Reno, Nevada area. As an influential lobbyist for the gambling, alcohol and tobacco industries, and for his own ventures, Whittemore was called "one of Nevada's most powerful men." In 2012, Whittemore came under grand jury investigation, initiated by the Federal Election Commission, to determine whether he should be indicted for breaking federal campaign contribution laws. He was charged with four felonies with convictions on three of the counts, and sentenced September 2013 to two years in prison. He was also given a $100,000 fine, along with two years supervision after his incarceration and 100 hours community service.Whittemore was the president of Coyote Springs Investment, LLC, the land-development company behind Coyote Springs, a controversial $30 billion planned golf course community of 160,000 homes on 43,000 acres (17,000 ha) in the rural Nevada desert. Whittemore's close relationship with Senator Harry Reid came under scrutiny because of perceived legislative and political pressure favors allowing Coyote Springs to overcome regulatory problems.Whittemore, whose daughter, Andrea Whittemore-Goad, is a chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patient, founded a research center known as the Whittemore Peterson Institute to investigate the condition. Members of the Institute notably claimed in 2009 that a mouse virus was the cause of CFS. The paper was retracted following widespread failure to replicate the finding, which was determined to be the result of laboratory contamination. Whittemore's business partners filed a civil suit against Whittemore, accusing him of improperly using company resources to support the institute.

Jack Gordon (entertainment manager)

Jack Leon Gordon (November 10, 1939 – April 19, 2005), also known as Samuel Isaac Gordon and Clifford William Johnson, was an American businessman and entertainment manager. Gordon was most known as the former manager and later husband of American singer–songwriter La Toya Jackson. In addition to being Jackson's manager, Gordon later served as the manager of American tabloid subject later turned porn actor John Wayne Bobbitt. Gordon died of cancer on April 19, 2005, at age 65.

Nevada Gaming Commission

The Nevada Gaming Commission is a Nevada state governmental agency involved in the regulation of casinos throughout the state, along with the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It was founded in 1959 by the Nevada Legislature.

The Commission is responsible for administering regulations, granting licenses and ruling on disciplinary matters brought before it by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It has five members appointed by the governor. Commission members serve for four years in a part-time capacity.

Scott Ashjian

Not to be confused with Scott Asheton.Jon Scott Ashjian (born 1964), commonly known as Scott Ashjian, was the candidate of the Tea Party of Nevada in the race for United States Senate in the 2010 Nevada general election. Ashjian was born in Fresno, California; the oldest of eight children. After graduating from South Lake Tahoe High School in 1982, he started his own auto detailing company in Bakersfield, California, and grew it to include locations in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Visalia, California. He is a Latter-day Saint, and served on a mission for the LDS Church in Argentina from 1986 to 1988. Ashjian moved from California to Nevada in 1995. He resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he works as a businessman, paving contractor, and real estate investor, and is owner of an asphalt company. With his wife, Bonnie, he has two sons and one daughter.

Ashjian was a member of the Republican Party, and voted for the presidential candidacies of Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and John McCain. In 2010, Ashjian and his supporters created the Tea Party of Nevada, whose values espouse small government, freedom, liberty, and decreasing the United States public debt. Ashjian filed his candidacy papers for the Tea Party, a registered minor party in Nevada, at Carson City on March 2, 2010. Ashjian's U.S. Senate candidacy was challenged in court in April 2010, and Carson City, Nevada district judge James Todd Russell ruled that he could stay on the ballot. This decision was appealed, and the Nevada Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision on October 6, 2010 that Ashjian would remain on the November 2010 ballot for U.S. Senate.In media interviews, Ashjian emphasized his values included decreased power of government, and a strict interpretation of the United States Constitution. He identified with the views of politicians including Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin, and Ron Paul. His political campaign was run as a grass-roots movement, and he served as his own communications director. He explained his decision to manage a minimalist and inexpensive campaign came from a desire to avoid a disconnect between politics and the people he wished to represent. Ashjian asserted he was confident his campaign would beat opponents from the two major political parties, Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Sharron Angle. In October 2010, Ashjian released an audio-tape to the media of a recorded conversation with Angle, in which she asked him to drop out of the U.S. Senate race. Angle told him she did not believe she could beat U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, if Ashjian remained on the ballot. Ashjian said he would stay in the race, and criticized both the major parties as inadequate choices in the election that would further the status quo. Harry Reid won the 2010 race and was reelected to the U.S. Senate.

Teresa Benitez-Thompson

Teresa Francisca Benitez-Thompson (born July 25, 1978) is an American politician, the Majority Floor Leader and a Democratic member of the Nevada Assembly, first elected February 7, 2011 to represent District 27. She was crowned Miss Nevada 2002 and placed third runner-up at the Miss America 2003 pageant.On December 4, 2013, Benitez-Thompson was endorsed by Harry Reid and Richard Bryan for her re-election campaign in 2014.

United States Senate Democratic Conference Secretary

The United States Senate Democratic Conference Secretary, also called the Caucus Secretary, is a ranking leadership position within the Democratic Party in the United States Senate. It was previously considered the number-three position, behind the party's floor leader and the party's whip, until in 2006, when Democratic leader Harry Reid created the new position of Vice-Chairman of the caucus. Now, the secretary is the fourth-highest ranking position. The conference secretary is responsible for taking notes and aiding the party leadership when senators of the party meet or caucus together.The first conference secretary was Sen. Edward W. Carmack of Tennessee, who was elected in March 1903.The current conference secretary is Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, who assumed the office in January, 2017.

Weekly Democratic Address

The Weekly Democratic Address is delivered by a different prominent Democrat each week, in response to the Weekly Address of the President of the United States during a Republican presidency. When a Democrat has held the Presidency, the President delivers the weekly address, such as occurred during 2009-2017 under Barack Obama.

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