Harry Reid to Leave Hometown to Help His 2016 Reelection Run

Majority leader says selling land in Searchlight will make campaigning easier.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 19: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) answers questions from reporters following the weekly policy lunch of the Democratic caucus November 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. Reid spoke on recent efforts by Senate Republicans to filibuster judicial nominees appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama.  
National Journal
Michael Catalin
June 9, 2014, 9:19 a.m.

Sen­ate Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id will have an easi­er time run­ning for reelec­tion in 2016 when he and his wife move out of their long­time home in Search­light, Nev., the Demo­crat­ic lead­er said Monday.

“I’ve got a reelec­tion com­ing up, and I’ve been through a few elec­tions com­mut­ing from Search­light, and it’s hard,” Re­id said in a video pos­ted to his Sen­ate web­site Monday.

Re­id an­nounced the sale of land, in­clud­ing his home, to the Nevada Milling and Min­ing Co. on Monday. The As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted that the com­pany bought the house for $1.7 mil­lion.

Re­id’s men­tion of his reelec­tion bid stands out be­cause he will be 78 when he’s sworn in for a sixth term, if he runs and wins in 2016. Already this year, he said he plans to run again, but ques­tions sur­round­ing his can­did­acy per­sist, es­pe­cially giv­en the dif­fi­cult race he had against Shar­ron Angle in 2010.

The news of the sale marks the end of an era for Re­id, who has lived in the town where he was born for the past 25 years. So fond of his ho­met­own is Re­id that he reg­u­larly speaks about it from the Sen­ate floor. He’s writ­ten a his­tory of the town, Search­light: The Camp That Didn’t Fail, and has even named his lead­er­ship PAC after the town of 539 people, 60 miles south of Las Ve­gas.

Re­id delved in­to ex­traordin­ary de­tail in the video an­noun­cing the sale, of­fer­ing a tour of Search­light mem­or­ab­il­ia, point­ing out a photo of the one-story, wood-frame house he grew up in, and demon­strat­ing an an­tique-look­ing miner’s tool known as a carbide lamp.

“Even after all these years it still smells like carbide,” he said, un­screw­ing a piece of the light and hold­ing it to his nose.

He fondly re­called liv­ing in a mo­bile home at one time as well as his boy­hood activ­it­ies.

“It was OK — it was a double-wide,” he said. Later, he ad­ded, “I re­mem­ber I used to count cars…. Why? Something to do.”

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