Officials of both parties, supporters and political foes, praised Sen. Harry Reid Friday as a champion for Nevada.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval described him as “an influential voice in Congress on behalf of Nevada’s interests, particularly on issues such as Yucca Mountain and renewable energy development.” He said Reid’s public service from the Nevada Assembly through the U.S. Senate spans almost half a century “and his legacy will last for generations.”
Dean Heller, also a Republican, said Reid served Nevada “with distinction in both local and state government before coming to Capitol Hill.”
“Throughout his time on the Hill, there was never any doubt his actions always put the interests of the Silver State first,” he said.
He said he looks forward to working with Reid for the remaining 22 months of his final term.
One member of the Nevada Legislature who was not surprised by Reid’s announcement was Republican Sen. Pete Gloicoechea of Eureka: “I knew it was coming just not when. I had money on it.”
Nevada Senate Minority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said Reid will be “sorely missed.”
He described Reid as “a tireless fighter for Nevada for decades.”
But he said the party will continue on and thrive: “The good thing about Senator Reid is he doesn’t just take you fishing, he teaches you to fish.”
He thanked Reid for “his advocacy, his mentorship and his dedication to the people of our state.”
Asked who would be a good replacement for Reid, he said, “That’s way above my pay grade. I’m a state senator.”
“Harry Reid has been the most effective fighter the state of Nevada ever had in the United States Senate,” said state Democrats in a statement.
The Assembly Democratic Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick of North Las Vegas said Nevadans owe Reid a debt for his long service to the state.
“His leadership was unparalleled when it came to issues as varied as health care to clean energy to always sticking up for the middle class,” she said.