Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid mentioned one piece of unfinished business in his farewell floor speech that could eventually be accomplished thanks to his work electing Democrats in Nevada.
Speaking about his efforts to improve transportation in his home state, Reid spoke of his crusade to take former Sen. Patrick McCarran’s name off McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
McCarran’s critics have pointed to a record of racism and anti-Semitism.
“I’ve tried for years to get the name taken off, a Democratic senator from Nevada who was an awful man. I tried to get his name off of that. It didn’t work,” Reid said. “Anyway, McCarran Airport, it is, I think, the fifth-busiest airport in America now. We’ve gotten money for the traffic control center, one of the largest structures in the western United States. We’ve done a good job to take care of McCarran.”
In the one of the few bright spots for Democrats in 2016, the party swept elections across Nevada, holding on to Reid’s Senate seat and picking up two House seats, as well as control of the state legislature in Carson City.
With that will come a renewed effort to rename the airport after none other than Reid himself.
Nevada state Sen. Tick Segerblom has previously introduced legislation to put Reid’s name on the airport, and he said in an email Thursday morning that he would bring the bill back in 2017, and that he anticipated having the support of the Democratic majority.
“The question is what will Gov. Sandoval do,” Segerblom said.
Sandoval, a Republican, was previously a federal judge recommended by Reid. Sandoval trounced Reid’s son Rory in the 2010 race for governor.
“Things were going great until he ran against my son for governor and I wish he hadn’t because my son would now be governor,” Reid said, adding that things were now fine with the governor.
Reid actually praised Sandoval while making campaign stops across Nevada ahead of Election Day in November.
Another piece of Reid’s unfinished business when it comes to naming infrastructure might not be far behind: trying to get J. Edgar Hoover’s name removed from the FBI headquarters building in Washington (since the FBI is moving to a new facility somewhere in the suburbs).
“We had a vote here. I can remember how mad Orrin Hatch was. We had a vote on it,” Reid said. “I made a mistake. I tried to get it named after Bobby Kennedy.”