Harry Reid Retiring in 2016: Senate Minority Leader, Nevada Democrat Announces Retirement
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced his retirement and will not seek re-election in 2016.
In a video message titled "Thank You!" Reid said his facial injuries result him to have "little down time" and take into consideration several issues.
Reid said, "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."
Although he assumed the role as Senate minority leader in January, Reid said the role is as important as Senate majority leader, a role currently held by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. In the video, Reid addressed McConnell, stating, "My friend...don't be too elated. I am going to be here for 22 months, and you know what I'm going to be doing? The same thing I've done since I first came to the Senate."
Reid said there needs to be focus for the Democrats to retake control of the Senate in 2016 instead of allocating resources on him. He clarified that his decision is solely based on his injury or since becoming Senate minority leader.
"[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," Reid added.
Landra Reid, the Senate minority leader's wife, was also featured in the "Thank You!" video. She said, "I get a little upset sometimes when I hear politicians say that they're gonna go and spend time with their family after they decide that they're not gonna be in politics anymore. He's a wonderful husband and a wonderful father. And so that's been more important than the other things that he's done with his life."
President Barack Obama has called Reid "a fighter" for good jobs, safer environment and for affordable health care.
"As the leader of the Senate Democrats during my time in office, Harry has become not only an ally, but a friend. I'm proud of all we have accomplished together, and I know the Senate will not be the same without him. I look forward to working with him to keep fighting for every American over the next two years, and Michelle and I wish him and Landra well in whatever the future holds," said Obama in a statement.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, who previously announced her retirement and will not seek re-election in 2016, since issued a statement on Friday morning.
"I have known Harry Reid for more than 30 years and since the day I met him, Harry has given every bit of his energy and every bit of his devotion to his job and his loving family. Harry is a fearless leader who listens to all sides before taking a stand. He has known heartache in many forms, but he never let it get in the way of his hopes and dreams and dedication to every family in America. Harry is one of a kind and I am grateful that we worked together for so many years for the good of Nevada, California and the country we love."
Reid has suggested Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York as his successor, the next top Senate Democrat.
Reid was first elected into the U.S. Senate in November 1986 and assumed the role on Jan. 3, 1987. He was re-elected in 1992, 1998, 2004 and finally in 2010. While in the Senate, Reid became the majority leader after Democrats gained control in 2006, following a two-year stint as minority leader in early 2005. He was also a member of the House of Representatives, serving two terms between 1983 and 1987.
Nevada is also home to a growing Latino population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos represent 27.5 percent of the state's population, which is higher than the national average of 17.1 percent.
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