Senate Democratic Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that he would not be running for reelection in 2016.
In a statement, Reid said:
The job of minority leader of the United States Senate is just as important as being the majority leader. It gives you so much opportunity to do good things for this country. And that’s what I am focused on.
But this accident has caused us for the first time to have a little down time. I have 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. And as a result of that I’m not going to run for re-election.
My friend, Senator McConnell, don’t be too elated. I am going to be here for twenty-two months, and you know what I’m going to be doing? The same thing I’ve done since I first came to the Senate.
We have to make sure that the Democrats take control of the Senate again. And I feel it is inappropriate for me to soak up all those resources on me when I could be devoting those resources to the caucus, and that’s what I intend to do.
The decision that I’ve made has absolutely nothing to do with my injury, it has nothing to do with my being minority leader and it certainly has nothing to do with my ability to be re-elected because the path to re-election is much easier than probably has been any time that I’ve run for re-election.
Harry Reid’s recent legacy by itself is historic. Reid has been a staunch defender of Social Security. He has held off the Republican assault on the middle-class. He has taken on the Koch brothers at every turn. Reid was critical in passing the Affordable Care Act, and he has resisted every Republican maneuver to undo the law. As Minority Leader, Harry Reid has kept the Democratic caucus unified while stopping Mitch McConnell’s Republican agenda dead in its tracks.
Sen. Reid’s announcement is surprising because had been insisting that he would run for reelection for more than a year. Democrats will now have to focus on drafting a strong candidate to keep Reid’s seat.
DSCC Chairman Jon Tester said in a statement, “Harry Reid’s legacy in the Senate has cemented his place in the halls of history, and I am proud to call him both a colleague and a friend. As the longest serving member of Congress from Nevada, a tireless advocate for his state, and the leader of the Democratic Party in the Senate he has never backed away from a fight when the lives of middle class families were on the line, and our country is better for his leadership. I wish him and Landra all the best as they begin this new chapter in their lives.There is a talented pool of Nevada Democrats who are ready to step up to the plate, and we will recruit a top-notch candidate in Nevada who will be successful in holding this seat in 2016.”
Harry Reid’s reelection campaigns were never easy, and always close. His decision was completely understandable given the amount of time and energy his recovery from an accident while exercising has consumed. Reid signaled that a Democratic Senate changing of the guard when he promoted Sen. Elizabeth Warren to Senate leadership. Democrats will definitely have a new leader when the next Congress comes into session in January 2017.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association