|U.S. Senior Senator, Nevada|
| Assumed office (class 3) |
January 6, 1987
|Preceded by||Paul Laxalt|
|Born||December 2, 1939|
Harry Mason Reid (Dec. 2 1939 - ) is the senior Senator from Nevada, and the current Senate Majority Leader. A native of the town of Searchlight, in Clark County on the Arizona border, Reid attended High School in nearby Henderson, Nevada, and received a B.S. from Utah State College in 1961. Reid worked briefly as a Capitol Police officer while earnign his law degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After graduating in 1964, Reid returned to Nevada to practice law.
Reid was first elected as a state representative from Clark County in 1967, and began a swift rise in Nevada politics, becoming Lt. Governor in 1970. In 1974, he ran for the Senate seat being vacated by Alan Bible. He lost that election by 600 votes to Republican Paul Laxalt. Ried thereafter served a term as Nevada's gaming commissioner, a very powerful position in a state higly dependent on gaming revenues. Cracking down on corrpution, Reid often found himself the intended victim of bombings and other violence. In fact, the gaming commissioner in the NBC drama "Las Vegas" played by Dick Smothers is reportedly based on Reid.
Rapid growth in Nevada after the 1980 census led to another congressional district being created, comprising most of Clark County. Reid ran for this seat in 1982, winning easily. He was re-elected in 1984 and 1986.
Upon Paul Laxalt's retirement in 1986, Reid ran for the open Senate seat and won. He has mostly been re-elected easily, though in 1996 he had a scare when future Nevada Senator John Ensign nearly defeated him. Before becoming Democratic Senate leader in 2005 following the defeat of Tom Daschle, Reid served as Minority Whip, and was instrumental in facilitating the defection of Jim Jeffords away from the Republicans.
With the Democratic victories in 2006, Reid became Senate Majority Leader for the 110th Congress.
Fun Facts: Reid boasts two interesting superlatives in his new position: he is the first Mormon Senate Majority Leader, and the first from Nevada.
- "I’m not going to get into a name-calling match with somebody who has a 9 percent approval rating." - after Vice President Cheney criticized his Iraq War bill.
- Sen. Harry Reid biography (U.S. Senate)
- Dodd clears path for Reid -- Crushed Senate Democrats seek to regroup swiftly after Daschle’s defeat (The Hill, November 4, 2004)
- Executive Branch
- Judicial Branch
- Legislative Branch