‘He never gave up a fight,’ National, local leaders remember former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Condolences for former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid started to pour in across several social media platforms moments after his passing was announced on Tuesday evening.

Harry Reid was 82-years-old and was the longest-serving member of Congress in Nevada history when he retired in 2017.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, following the Democrats’ weekly strategy session. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The former Senate majority leader had battled pancreatic cancer over the course of four years and in 2020, he announced he was in remission.

On Tuesday, Dec. 14, the airport in Las Vegas was renamed in Reid’s honor and is now known as Harry Reid International Airport.

(KLAS)

A spokesman for the newly named airport offered a statement on the passing of the former senator Tuesday evening, adding that Reid was a big advocate for aviation in Southern Nevada.

Clark County Commissioner, Tick Segerblom had been an advocate for the recent airport name change and described it as a moment he is proud Reid was able to see before passing.

“I’ve been talking about this bill for 4 years and ready to have it happen so the fact that it finally came to fruition and having the ceremony just two weeks before he died was very important to me,” he added. “There’s nothing more important to Nevada than what he has done and I wanted him to know that, and Nevada to know that, and I think we accomplished that.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks with reporters following a Democratic strategy session at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former Nevada First Lady, Dawn Gibbons recalls the ease of her friendship with Reid, telling 8 News Now he was always there for her, even during the toughest of times.

“Anytime I had a problem, I would text him and call him and he would get right back to me,” said Gibbons. “He was fatherly to me and it meant something because I lost my father to suicide when I was 16 and he lost his father to suicide when he was 30.”

The late senator proved to be more than a political figure, the memory of the work he put in for the silver state will never be forgotten by his colleagues, including Nevada Congressman, Steven Horsford.

“We will carry out his legacy. Senator Reid was a hard worker, a fighter, and a true champion for every community and individual and he cared deeply about this state and our future,” Horsford told 8 News Now.

Sen. Reid also served during former U.S. President Barack Obama’s presidential term in Washington.

The former president remarked on Reid’s passing and posted on Twitter calling him a good friend who made the world a better place. He went on to describe the last moments before Reid’s passing, adding that his health situation had taken a “rough turn.”

The former president also thanked Reid for his help during his presidency and added, “I wouldn’t have been president had it not been for your encouragement and support, and I wouldn’t have got most of what I got done without your skill and determination.”

President Joe Biden also offered his condolences on the passing of Harry Reid, calling the late senator “a boxer, he never gave up a fight. A great American, he looked at challenges and believed it was within our capacity to do good — to do right.”

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak also sent out a statement along with a heartfelt message on Twitter saying in part, “To say Senator Reid was a giant doesn’t fully encapsulate all that he accomplished on behalf of the state of Nevada for Nevada families.”

Many dignitaries remembered the late Nevada senator, husband, and father of five children, as a loving family man.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman echoed those sentiments in her post via Twitter, saying in part, “Sen. Reid was first a family man & every time I was with him or spoke to him he asked first about our family & told me about his family with great pride.”

Funeral arrangements for the late senator are pending at this time.

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