Reinecke was born in Medford, Oregon, and served in the Navy during World War II. He graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1942 and then attended the California Institute of Technology, from which he graduated in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering. Together with his sister (Charlotte) and two brothers (Fred and Bill), he founded FEBCO, a manufacturing company, in southern California.
Reinecke served in the U.S. House of Representatives between 1965 and 1969. As a member of the Interior Committee, he worked to preserve Western rivers (including the Colorado River, which was to be dammed within the Grand Canyon). He subsequently served as the 39th Lieutenant Governor of California, from January 8, 1969, to October 2, 1974. Reinecke ran for governor of California in 1974 but failed to win the Republican Party nomination. He lost to Houston I. Flournoy, a Rockefeller Republican who was then defeated by Democrat Jerry Brown.
Reinecke was convicted of perjury and sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment as part of the Watergate investigation. He resigned one day before his sentencing, which was overturned on appeal because "the Senate Judiciary Committee before which he was accused of perjuring himself had failed to publish its rule permitting a one-man quorum."
Reinecke and his wife, the former Jean Raybeck Mietus (1923–2011), a Pennsylvania native, owned the Diamond R Ranch on Bucks Bar Road in Placerville, California. They were the first ranchers to import and breed Charolais cattle in El Dorado County, California. In 1981, they opened the restaurant "Zachary Jacques" known for prime rib and live musical entertainment. They also operated the brokerage firm, Reinecke Realty Residential.
|Lieutenant Governor of California
January 8, 1969 – October 2, 1974
John L. Harmer
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Everett G. Burkhalter
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 27th congressional district
January 3, 1965 – January 21, 1969
Barry Goldwater, Jr.