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Democrat

Sen. Harry Reid (D)

Leadership: Minority Leader & Democratic Conference Chairman
Harry Reid Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-224-3542

Address: 522 HSOB, DC 20510

Websites: reid.senate.gov
State Office Contact Information

Phone: (775) 686-5750

Address: 400 South Virginia Street, Reno NV 89501-2109

Las Vegas NV

Phone: (702) 388-5020

Fax: (702) 388-5030

Address: 333 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas NV 89101-7075

Carson City NV

Phone: (775) 882-7343

Fax: (775) 883-1980

Address: 600 East Williams Street, Carson City NV 89701-4052

Harry Reid Staff
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Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Moran, Tyler
Senior Counsel
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Herbert, Robert
Senior Policy Advisor / Director of Appropriations
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
Kelleher, Bridget
Legislative Correspondent
Street, Caren
Legislative Assistant
Kelleher, Bridget
Legislative Correspondent
King, Bruce
Senior Advisor
Street, Caren
Legislative Assistant
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
Moran, Tyler
Senior Counsel
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
Street, Caren
Legislative Assistant
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Doneski, Ellen
Senior Tax Advisor
Kelleher, Bridget
Legislative Correspondent
Doneski, Ellen
Senior Tax Advisor
Kelleher, Bridget
Legislative Correspondent
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Unger, Jason
Legislative Director
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
McDonough, Alex
Senior Policy Advisor
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
McDonough, Alex
Senior Policy Advisor
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Garcia, Jose
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Urbina, Maria
Senior Policy Advisor for Hispanic and Asian Affairs
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Moran, Tyler
Senior Counsel
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Brown, Devron
Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Lewis, Jessica
Senior National Security Advisor
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Reffett, Trey
Grants Specialist; Legislative Assistant
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Bennett, McKenzie
Legislative Correspondent
Leone, Kate
Senior Health Counsel
Herbert, Robert
Senior Policy Advisor / Director of Appropriations
Lewis, Jessica
Senior National Security Advisor
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Kelleher, Bridget
Legislative Correspondent
Street, Caren
Legislative Assistant
Moran, Tyler
Senior Counsel
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
Moran, Tyler
Senior Counsel
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Brown, Devron
Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Lewis, Jessica
Senior National Security Advisor
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Reffett, Trey
Grants Specialist; Legislative Assistant
White, Portia
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
White, Portia
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
Leone, Kate
Senior Health Counsel
Leone, Kate
Senior Health Counsel
Bennett, McKenzie
Legislative Correspondent
Leone, Kate
Senior Health Counsel
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Garcia, Jose
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Urbina, Maria
Senior Policy Advisor for Hispanic and Asian Affairs
Lewis, Jessica
Senior National Security Advisor
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
McDonough, Alex
Senior Policy Advisor
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
White, Portia
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
White, Portia
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Doneski, Ellen
Senior Tax Advisor
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Unger, Jason
Legislative Director
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Reffett, Trey
Grants Specialist; Legislative Assistant
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
King, Bruce
Senior Advisor
Doneski, Ellen
Senior Tax Advisor
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Herbert, Robert
Senior Policy Advisor / Director of Appropriations
Lewis, Jessica
Senior National Security Advisor
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Herbert, Robert
Senior Policy Advisor / Director of Appropriations
McDonough, Alex
Senior Policy Advisor
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
Herbert, Robert
Senior Policy Advisor / Director of Appropriations
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
Reffett, Trey
Grants Specialist; Legislative Assistant
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Alam, Nabeel
Legislative Correspondent
Bennett, McKenzie
Legislative Correspondent
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Broad, Joseph
Nevada Outreach Coordinator
Brown, Devron
Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Carnegie, Ruth
Special Assistant to the Senator
Conelly, Mary
State Director
Cruz, Adelle
Executive Assistant to the Senator
Dauster, William
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
Deese, Ileanexis
Administrative Manager
Doneski, Ellen
Senior Tax Advisor
Dove, Carrie
Mailroom Coordinator
Eckard, Vickie
Computer Operator
Esposito, Michael
Regional Representative
Foger, Charvez
Director of Southern Nevada Homeland Security and Law Enforcement
Fox, Cameron
Staff Assistant
Garcia, Jose
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow
Garcia-Banuelos, Yolanda
Regional Representative
Gilbert, Carmen
Regional Representative
Herbert, Robert
Senior Policy Advisor / Director of Appropriations
Hernandez, Mariela
Professional Staff Member
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
Ibarra, Marcos
Regional Representative
Ingvoldstad, Lucas
Regional Representative
Jones, Asha
Regional Representative
Kelleher, Bridget
Legislative Correspondent
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
King, Bruce
Senior Advisor
Klein, Michael
Regional Representative
Krone, David
Chief of Staff
Lainez, Julio
Systems Administrator
Lammle, John
Staff Assistant
Leone, Kate
Senior Health Counsel
Lewis, Jessica
Senior National Security Advisor
Lewis, Leslie
Regional Representative
Lierd, Dylan
Staff Assistant
Lisagor, Susan
Regional Representative
Martinez, Christina
Regional Representative
Matute, Gabriel
Regional Representative
McCallum, David
Deputy Chief of Staff
McDonough, Alex
Senior Policy Advisor
Meier, Maria
Senior Advisor for Human Resources
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
Moran, Tyler
Senior Counsel
Orthman, Kristen
Communications Director
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Pelli, Priscilla
Projects Manager; Special Assistant
Pinkerton, Aga
Regional Representative
Raborn, Shannon
Southern Nevada Director
Recto, Bianca
Press Assistant
Reffett, Trey
Grants Specialist; Legislative Assistant
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
Rodman, Scott
Director of Information and Technology
Sargent, Simon
Research Director
Skau, Mary
Regional Representative
Street, Caren
Legislative Assistant
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Thomsen, Jessica
Deputy Regional Director
Unger, Jason
Legislative Director
Urbina, Maria
Senior Policy Advisor for Hispanic and Asian Affairs
Vlach, Rosalie
Intern Coordinator
White, Portia
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Lainez, Julio
Systems Administrator
Doneski, Ellen
Senior Tax Advisor
Herbert, Robert
Senior Policy Advisor / Director of Appropriations
Holman, George
Senior Policy Advisor
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
King, Bruce
Senior Advisor
Lewis, Jessica
Senior National Security Advisor
McDonough, Alex
Senior Policy Advisor
Meier, Maria
Senior Advisor for Human Resources
Moffat, Sara
Policy Advisor for Public Lands
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Urbina, Maria
Senior Policy Advisor for Hispanic and Asian Affairs
Bray, Vaughn
Legislative Aide
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Krone, David
Chief of Staff
White, Portia
Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Orthman, Kristen
Communications Director
Broad, Joseph
Nevada Outreach Coordinator
Dove, Carrie
Mailroom Coordinator
Vlach, Rosalie
Intern Coordinator
Khanna, Ayesha
Counsel; Policy Advisor
Leone, Kate
Senior Health Counsel
Moran, Tyler
Senior Counsel
Parke, Gavin
Policy Advisor; Counsel
Dauster, William
Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy
McCallum, David
Deputy Chief of Staff
Conelly, Mary
State Director
Foger, Charvez
Director of Southern Nevada Homeland Security and Law Enforcement
Raborn, Shannon
Southern Nevada Director
Rodman, Scott
Director of Information and Technology
Sargent, Simon
Research Director
Thomsen, Jessica
Deputy Regional Director
Brown, Devron
Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Cruz, Adelle
Executive Assistant to the Senator
Garcia, Jose
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellow
Reffett, Trey
Grants Specialist; Legislative Assistant
Street, Caren
Legislative Assistant
Alam, Nabeel
Legislative Correspondent
Bennett, McKenzie
Legislative Correspondent
Kelleher, Bridget
Legislative Correspondent
Renteria, Alejandro
Legislative Correspondent
Rifis, Jared
Legislative Correspondent
Yaffe, Leah
Legislative Correspondent
Unger, Jason
Legislative Director
Deese, Ileanexis
Administrative Manager
Swing, Samantha
Legislative Aide; Correspondence Manager
Eckard, Vickie
Computer Operator
Recto, Bianca
Press Assistant
Hernandez, Mariela
Professional Staff Member
Pelli, Priscilla
Projects Manager; Special Assistant
Esposito, Michael
Regional Representative
Garcia-Banuelos, Yolanda
Regional Representative
Gilbert, Carmen
Regional Representative
Ibarra, Marcos
Regional Representative
Ingvoldstad, Lucas
Regional Representative
Jones, Asha
Regional Representative
Klein, Michael
Regional Representative
Lewis, Leslie
Regional Representative
Lisagor, Susan
Regional Representative
Martinez, Christina
Regional Representative
Matute, Gabriel
Regional Representative
Pinkerton, Aga
Regional Representative
Skau, Mary
Regional Representative
Carnegie, Ruth
Special Assistant to the Senator
Pelli, Priscilla
Projects Manager; Special Assistant
Reffett, Trey
Grants Specialist; Legislative Assistant
Fox, Cameron
Staff Assistant
Lammle, John
Staff Assistant
Lierd, Dylan
Staff Assistant
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Harry Reid Biography
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  • Elected: 1986, term expires 2016, 5th term.
  • State: Nevada
  • Born: Dec. 02, 1939, Searchlight
  • Home: Searchlight
  • Education:

    S. UT St. Col., A.S. 1959, UT St. U., B.S. 1961, George Washington U., J.D. 1964, U. of NV, 1969-70

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1969–82; Henderson City atty., 1964–66; Chmn., NV Gaming Comm., 1977–81.

  • Political Career:

    NV Assembly, 1968–70; NV lt. gov., 1970–74; U.S. House of Reps., 1982–86.

  • Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Religion:

    Mormon

  • Family: Married (Landra); 5 children

Democrat Harry Reid, Nevada’s senior senator, is the minority leader and one of Washington’s most accomplished deal-makers, with a record of legislative successes that reflects a mastery of Senate procedure and the psychology of his colleagues. At the same time, his lack of political polish and occasionally brusque manner have incensed Republicans and contributed to some of his torturous reelection races. Read More

Democrat Harry Reid, Nevada’s senior senator, is the minority leader and one of Washington’s most accomplished deal-makers, with a record of legislative successes that reflects a mastery of Senate procedure and the psychology of his colleagues. At the same time, his lack of political polish and occasionally brusque manner have incensed Republicans and contributed to some of his torturous reelection races.

Reid began the 114th Congress (2015-16) diminished both by the Democrats' November electoral wipeout as well as by a nasty fall that broke six of his ribs and badly damaged his right eye. But he remained firmly in control of his caucus -- reportedly making as many as 50 phone calls a day to assert his influence -- and sought to diminish any speculation that he might retire in 2017. “At this stage, I’m fully intending to run,” he told reporters in January. In 2014, he even sold his longtime house in Searchlight, in the scorching desert south of Las Vegas, and moved to Las Vegas to be closer to his political operation. “He’s one tough S.O.B.,” his former spokesman Jim Manley told MSNBC. “I can’t tell you how much he looks forward to having another close race where people are going to be betting heavily against him.”

Reid was first elected to the Senate in 1986, and before that served two terms in the U.S. House. Reid grew up in Searchlight, enduring a hard life. His father, a hard-rock miner, was an alcoholic who killed himself at age 58. His mother did laundry for a nearby bordello to keep the family afloat. Reid grew up in a small house without indoor plumbing, and hitchhiked 40 miles to high school in Henderson, where his civics teacher and boxing coach, Mike O’Callaghan, became his political mentor. As a young man, Reid was a middleweight boxer of some local renown, but he aspired to better himself through education. Henderson businessmen helped him pay for college, and he graduated from Southern Utah State, where he and his wife became Mormons. To put himself through law school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., he worked nights as a Capitol Police officer. He likes to say, “I would rather dance than fight, but I know how to fight.” He returned to Henderson to practice law.

At age 28, Reid was elected to the Nevada Assembly. In 1970, his mentor O’Callaghan was elected governor and Reid, running separately, was elected lieutenant governor. In 1974, Reid came within 624 votes of beating Republican Paul Laxalt in the race for senator, and two years later, he ran for mayor of Las Vegas and lost that election, too. O’Callaghan named him to head the Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1981, a sensitive post overseeing the state’s top industry at a time when it was controlled by organized crime. Reid later recounted that his life was threatened and his car wired with a bomb.

In 1982, when Nevada got two U.S. House seats for the first time and Rep. Jim Santini ran for the Senate, Reid ran in the Las Vegas-based 1st District and won. As Reid was completing his second term in the House, Laxalt retired and Reid tried again for the Senate seat. His opponent turned out to be Santini, who had switched parties at the last minute and ran as a Republican. Reid won 50%-45%.

Over the years, Reid has had a more moderate voting record than many Senate Democrats. He voted against resolutions endorsing Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion, and he co-sponsored the constitutional amendment to outlaw flag-burning. Reid was one of the few Senate Democrats to vote for the Persian Gulf War resolution in 1991, and he voted for the Iraq war resolution in 2002. He has consistently opposed environmental groups on mining issues and blocked attempts to impose higher fees on hard-rock mining. He has opposed most gun control measures, though he supported a failed attempt to ban assault weapons in April 2013 because, he said, “saving the lives of young police officers and innocent civilians is more important than preventing imagined tyranny.” Reid has steered counter-terrorism money to Nevada and has worked to transform the old Nevada nuclear test site, with its hundreds of underground tunnels, into a $250 million center for training first responders to confront acts of terrorism. He has been a strong supporter of the gambling industry.

For two decades, a major issue in Nevada has been the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. In the late 1980s, the federal government named the site as the top candidate for a permanent repository for waste from nuclear reactors that had been piling up at temporary sites in 39 states. Reid has opposed the repository with every parliamentary and political tool at his command while senators from states with temporary sites have pressed hard for it. Bill Clinton carried Nevada by narrow margins in 1992 and 1996 largely because he promised to veto the establishment of even a temporary site at Yucca Mountain. Reid’s task was to assemble sufficient votes to prevent an override of Clinton’s veto, which he did consistently through 2000.

In 2002, President George W. Bush designated Yucca Mountain as the permanent site. The law provided for a veto by the governor, which could be overridden by majorities in both chambers of Congress. In April 2002, Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn issued his veto. Reid tried, but failed, later that year to defeat the bill approving the site. But for Reid, the fight was not over. Lawsuits were filed against the plan, and as the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Energy Department, he was able to block funding for the repository year after year. In November 2004, Reid, by then the Senate minority leader, negotiated with the Bush administration over judicial appointments and agreed to approve 175 Bush nominees in return for the appointment of his aide, Gregory Jaczko, to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which had to approve the site before it could go forward. He pushed to move up Nevada’s presidential primary to January 2008, a move that ended up forcing candidates to take an early stand on waste storage. Then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama obliged by opposing the Yucca Mountain site and, after taking office, put the repository on hold.

Reid’s rise to leader was set in motion when he won the post of minority whip in 1998. For the next six years, he was a constant presence on the floor, advancing his party’s causes and maintaining civil relations with GOP leaders. He played a key role in persuading Vermont’s Sen. Jim Jeffords to leave the Republican Party in May 2001 and become an independent who caucused with the Democrats; the move effectively put the Democrats in the majority. When Republicans held all-night sessions in November 2003 to protest Democratic filibusters of nominees for appellate court judgeships, Reid retaliated by speaking for nine hours, reading from his book about his upbringing in Searchlight. Later, in May 2005, he acquiesced to the agreement of the bipartisan “Gang of 14” to allow some of the nominees to come to a vote.

In 2004, he campaigned for fellow Democrats and contributed generously to their political treasuries. When Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota lost his seat in a stunning upset that year, Reid had already lined up the votes he needed to be elected minority leader. (Republicans were back in control of the majority.) Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut was interested in the post but declined to run. Reid was not the Senate’s best orator and not much of a policy visionary, but his colleagues knew him as a crafty parliamentarian who would be a scrappy and effective defender of their interests.

Reid worked deftly behind the scenes, giving up his committee seats to accommodate other Democrats and pledging to rely on committee chairmen on policy. He blocked non-germane amendments from bills, and he bottled up portions of the Bush agenda that Democrats strongly opposed, such as individual retirement accounts in Social Security. But Reid sometimes undercut himself as a leader by resorting to indecorous comments or insults. He once called Bush a “loser” and a “liar,” and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan “a political hack.” He was quoted in a book on the 2008 presidential race as saying he believed Obama could win because he was a “light-skinned” African-American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Reid acknowledged making the remarks and apologized to Obama.

He also has been vulnerable on the ethics front, although he has maintained that none of the issues raised against him over the years have had merit. After a 2003 Los Angeles Times story pointed out that his son and a son-in-law were lobbying in Washington for Nevada companies, Reid banned relatives from lobbying his office. In October 2006, it was reported that Reid had not disclosed a transaction on a land deal that netted him more than $1 million in 2004. Reid said that he had purchased the land in 1998 at market price, and then sold it to a friend’s corporation in 2001 in return for a stake in the corporation. He got his share of the proceeds in 2004, he said, when the property was sold to a shopping center developer. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported in April 2013 that two partners at a Las Vegas law firm made $150,000 in contributions to a super PAC associated with Reid as he considered a member of the firm for a federal judgeship.

In 2006, Democrats won the six seats they needed to regain the Senate majority and Reid ascended to majority leader. After the election, Reid deftly juggled committee and leadership posts, giving Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman, whose vote would be crucial to keeping the majority, the chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, even though he had been reelected as an independent. On other issues, Reid was often stymied by the Senate Republicans’ constant resort to filibusters. His efforts to place limitations on Bush’s handling of the Iraq war mostly fell short of the 60 votes required to shut off debate. And there seemed to be no preventing conservative Oklahoman Tom Coburn from blocking even seemingly acceptable bills from the Senate floor. The contrast to the more lockstep House under Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California was a source of some embarrassment for Senate Democrats.

Despite these setbacks, the electoral success of Senate candidates in 2006 and 2008 engendered enormous goodwill for Reid. With a Democratic majority in Congress, and the election of a Democratic president in 2008, he slipped into the role most comfortable for him, that of behind-the-scenes deal-maker. Reid won bipartisan support for tough, new ethics and lobbying rules and expansion of the student loan program. In early 2009, he guided the new administration’s $787 billion economic stimulus bill to passage. (The bill happened to include funding for a high-speed bullet train between Las Vegas and Anaheim, Calif., that Reid has championed.) When the $700 billion bailout for the financial industry was in trouble in the House, Reid made several changes to the Senate bill to attract additional votes, including a tweak to the tax code to protect middle-income taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax. That and other modifications were popular with lawmakers in both parties in the House, and the bill ultimately passed.

The downside for Reid of Obama’s rise to power was the expectation that he would carry water for the new administration even when its policies hurt him politically in his marginal state. The president’s proposed overhaul of the nation’s health care delivery system drove the point home like no other. When the responsible Senate committees could not come up with a bill that could attract the requisite 60 votes to deter a Republican filibuster by late in 2009, Reid had to take over or be blamed for Obama’s centerpiece domestic initiative dying on his watch. (The House had already passed a health care bill.) Reid had to navigate the bill around obstacles from the most liberal and most conservative members of his caucus while being unable to count on a single vote from the Senate’s 40 Republicans. That meant he needed all 60 Democrats, including two independents who caucused with the Democrats, to pass the bill. In one instance, he agreed to Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s insistence that the legislation bar any form of federal support for abortions, a concession that riled liberals. Just before the year ended, Reid was able to pass a health care bill, a great victory for him on the national stage, but a handicap for him at home, where the legislation was unpopular.

In the 112th Congress (2011-12), Reid sought to show that the Senate could be a productive counterweight to the more unruly Republican-controlled House. He got through a bipartisan five-year farm bill as well as aid for communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy, both of which eluded House GOP leaders. He also was able to thwart GOP attempts to bypass an administration review of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline and to block a federal rule speeding up union elections. He repeatedly used parliamentary maneuvers to prevent Republicans from offering amendments to legislation that could jeopardize support for the broader bill.

But later, during negotiations with Republicans over an extension of the federal debt limit and a tax and spending bill to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the White House took the lead, which irked Senate committee chairmen, who were forced to defend the results back home. Meanwhile, Reid’s testiness surfaced in his dealing with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, whom he likened to a dictator. “I don’t understand his brain,” Reid said during a December 2012 impasse in the fiscal cliff talks. At a subsequent meeting outside the Oval Office, Boehner snapped to Reid, “Go f--- yourself.” Meanwhile, Senate Republicans simply refused to allow numerous bills to be brought up for a vote, fueling charges that the Senate was dysfunctional, assessments that reflected poorly on Reid.

The Senate leader also occasionally found himself at odds with his new GOP Senate colleague from Nevada, Republican Dean Heller, whom he blamed in 2012 for failing to entice a sufficient number of Republicans to back a bill legalizing online poker. And though Reid’s turnout operation helped Obama win Nevada that November, he appeared to be trying a little too hard to help the president when he accused GOP nominee Mitt Romney of having paid no federal income taxes for 10 years. The senator claimed his information was based on an investor at Romney’s former investment firm, Bain Capital, whom he refused to identify. A Romney spokesman called the charge “baseless,” while Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus labeled Reid “a dirty liar.”

In early 2013, Reid gave committee chairs a freer hand in developing legislation, enabling Budget’s Patty Murray of Washington to draft a fiscal 2014 budget proposal and Judiciary’s Patrick Leahy of Vermont to come up with legislative proposals on gun control. He also let his close ally in the Democratic leadership, New York’s Chuck Schumer, shepherd a bipartisan proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. (Schumer has said that the two men talk as often as 15 times each day.) But Reid drew the line at an effort to dramatically overhaul the use of filibusters pushed by several of his younger Democratic colleagues. He endorsed a more modest compromise that kept in place the controversial 60-vote threshold for filibusters. “With the history of the Senate, we have to understand the Senate isn’t and shouldn’t be like the House,” Reid said.

Nevada voters are oddly unforgiving when it comes to Reid, who became the state’s longest-serving member of Congress in January 2013. “Reid is tough and a backroom politician, which is why a lot of people don’t like him,” said Eric Herzik, a University of Nevada-Reno political scientist. “They call him ‘Slick Harry’ or ‘Dirty Harry.’ But at the end of the day, they may acknowledge that it might actually benefit Nevada.” An October 2012 Public Policy Polling survey was a fairly typical reflection of how Nevadans view Reid: It found that 44% approved of the job he’s doing and 51% disapproved.

Reid has faced two serious challenges to his Senate seat. The first was in 1998, when Republican Rep. John Ensign ran a well-financed campaign against him. Both Reid and Ensign, whose stepfather was head of the Mandalay Resort Group, one of the big Las Vegas casinos, raised large amounts of money from the gambling industry. Reid spent $4.9 million and Ensign $3.5 million. After a nasty campaign, Reid prevailed by just 428 votes. Two years later, Ensign was elected to Nevada’s other Senate seat. Despite the bitterness of the 1998 campaign, Reid and Ensign worked together on many home-state projects and refrained from public criticism of each other, even when a messy extramarital affair and related ethics issues ended Ensign’s Senate career in 2011.

Then in the 2010 election, Republicans set out to topple Reid in the same way that Daschle was defeated in 2004 at the pinnacle of his power. He started the race with polls showing him trailing would-be GOP challengers. Yet Republicans had their own problems, including a crowded primary field. Casino executive and former state Sen. Sue Lowden was the putative front-runner, but she committed a series of embarrassing gaffes, including suggesting that people could use chickens as barter to pay their medical bills. She lost to Sharron Angle, a former state Assembly member who drew spirited tea party support.

The result gave Reid an advantageous matchup. Lowden had been considered the much stronger general election adversary. He wasted no time in attacking Angle as someone far outside the political mainstream. At times, the Reid campaign didn’t have to do a thing to raise negative impressions of Angle; she did it on her own. At a political rally in October, she appeared to agree with a spectator that Dearborn, Mich., had been taken over by its large Arab and Muslim population. “It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States,” Angle said. Over the summer, Reid opened up a lead in the polls that was outside the statistical margin of error. But Angle fought back, keeping the race close. She took advantage of widespread anti-government sentiment to outline her conservative philosophy, which called for Washington to be limited to only those powers expressly enumerated in the Constitution, with the rest turned over to the states or eliminated. The relentless mudslinging tarnished both candidates. In a Mason-Dixon poll in August 2010, 52% had a negative opinion of Reid, and Angle’s unfavorable rating was 43%.

Yet Reid did not give up easily. He raised $24.8 million, within range of Angle’s $28.1 million. (Only the Connecticut Senate race was more expensive in 2010.) He mobilized Hispanics and the powerful culinary workers’ union, both important Democratic voting blocs. He defeated Angle 50%-45%, a victory made all the more impressive by the fact that an astonishingly large 2.25% of votes were cast for “none of the above.” Also impressive was that his triumph came even though his son Rory Reid, a Clark County commissioner, was on the ballot for governor and lost to Republican Brian Sandoval.

As if to vindicate his triumph in what was an otherwise brutal year for Democrats, Reid was given ample opportunity to demonstrate his deal-making skills in the lame-duck session of Congress following the election. He played a key role in passing an economic stimulus bill that renewed expiring Bush-era tax cuts; a repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring openly gay service members; and ratification of the New START nuclear arms treaty with Russia. Even Republicans grudgingly acknowledged his skill. “I don’t have people saying, ‘He’s the greatest speaker,’ ‘He’s handsome,’ ‘He’s a man about town,’” Reid told The New York Times. “But I don’t really care. I feel very comfortable with my place in history.”

Show Less
Harry Reid Election Results
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2010 General
Harry Reid (D)
Votes: 362,785
Percent: 50.29%
Spent: $24,815,104
Sharron Angle
Votes: 321,361
Percent: 44.55%
Spent: $28,162,049
2010 Primary
Harry Reid (D)
Votes: 87,366
Percent: 72.13%
Alex Miller
Votes: 9,715
Percent: 8.02%
Prior Winning Percentages
2004 (61%), 1998 (48%), 1992 (51%), 1986 (50%); House: 1984 (56%), 1982 (58%)
Harry Reid Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 93 (L) : - (C) 86 (L) : 10 (C) 88 (L) : - (C)
Social 61 (L) : 38 (C) 64 (L) : - (C) 50 (L) : 48 (C)
Foreign 71 (L) : - (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 87 (L) : 8 (C)
Composite 81.2 (L) : 18.8 (C) 87.5 (L) : 12.5 (C) 78.2 (L) : 21.8 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC00
LCV100100
CFG79
ITIC-63
NTU1010
20112012
COC36-
ACLU-50
ACU00
ADA9590
AFSCME100-
Key Senate Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Block faith exemptions
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve gas pipeline
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Approve farm bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Let cyber bill proceed
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Block Gitmo transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass balanced budget amendment
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Stop EPA climate regulations
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Proceed to Cordray vote
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Require talking filibuster
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Limit Fannie/Freddie
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Ratify New START
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Confirm Elena Kagan
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop EPA climate regs
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Block release of TARP funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $787 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Repeal DC gun laws
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Confirm Sonia Sotomayor
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar budget rules for climate bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass 2010 budget resolution
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let judges adjust mortgages
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow FDA to regulate tobacco
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Protect gays from hate crimes
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Cut F-22 funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Label North Korea terrorist state
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Build Guantanamo replacement
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Allow federal funds for abortion
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Cap greenhouse gases
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase missile defense $
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Make English official language
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Path to citizenship
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Fetus is unborn child
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Prosecute hate crimes
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 3/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Iran guard is terrorist group
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
Read More
Harry Reid Leadership Staff
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Bray, Vaughn
Speechwriter
Brown, Devron
Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Cruz, Adelle
Executive Assistant to the Minority Leader
Dauster, William
Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy
Garunay, Melanie
Deputy Director, Digital Media
Jentleson, Adam
Communications Director
Klein, Julie
Deputy Advisor, National Security
Lewis, Jessica
Senior Advisor, National Security
McCallum, David
Deputy Chief of Staff
Meier, Maria
Senior Advisor, Human Resources
Mulvenon, Ryan
Advisor, Policy
Pedro, Laura
Assistant Scheduler
Unger, Jason
Legislative Director
Villanueva, Alexis
Events Coordinator; Staff Assistant
White, Portia
Deputy Chief of Staff, Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Klein, Julie
Deputy Advisor, National Security
Lewis, Jessica
Senior Advisor, National Security
Meier, Maria
Senior Advisor, Human Resources
Mulvenon, Ryan
Advisor, Policy
Pedro, Laura
Assistant Scheduler
Dauster, William
Deputy Chief of Staff, Policy
White, Portia
Deputy Chief of Staff, Intergovernmental and External Affairs
Jentleson, Adam
Communications Director
Villanueva, Alexis
Events Coordinator; Staff Assistant
McCallum, David
Deputy Chief of Staff
Garunay, Melanie
Deputy Director, Digital Media
Brown, Devron
Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Cruz, Adelle
Executive Assistant to the Minority Leader
Unger, Jason
Legislative Director
Bray, Vaughn
Speechwriter
Villanueva, Alexis
Events Coordinator; Staff Assistant
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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