Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid Announces Retirement
Harry Reid announced Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2016, leaving a gap in the Democratic leadership and an open seat in a battleground state. In a farewell video, Reid said the eye injury he sustained in January gave him pause to think about his life and his career, and this time of reflection had a major impact on his decision.
“I’ve had time to ponder and to think. We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than us,” Reid said. “And as a result of that, I’m not going to run for re-election."
"The announcement caps a career in Washington spanning more than three decades, starting in 1983 in the House," Politico reports. "After winning a Senate seat in 1986, Reid tended heavily to home-state matters: a planned nuclear waste dump in Southern Nevada, and mining and logging policies that affected the vast rural northern part of his state, much of it under federal control and where Reid was widely disliked."
"Reid, a soft-spoken, uninspiring public speaker but savvy backroom political operator, plotted his way up the rungs of Democratic leadership. In 2005 he became Senate Democratic leader, and two years later majority leader. As leader, Reid developed a no-nonsense, hard-ball style that came to define his stewardship. He muscled through Senate passage of the Affordable Care Act on Christmas Eve in 2009 on a straight party-line vote, when his party controlled 60 seats, enough to overcome a GOP filibuster. In 2013, Reid took the unprecedented step of invoking the so-called “nuclear option,” a move that gutted filibuster rules for presidential nominations that critics said altered the deliberative nature of the body." - Politico, March 27, 2015