Incoming Nevada governor pushes to rename Las Vegas airport for Harry Reid

Nevada Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak (D) is pushing to rename a Las Vegas airport after former Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill Kamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' Obama calls filibuster 'Jim Crow relic,' backs new Voting Rights Act bill MORE (D-Nev.), who is battling pancreatic cancer.

Lawmakers in Nevada have been aiming to rename the McCarran International Airport after Reid, citing his prominence in the state's political history, as well as former Sen. Patrick McCarran's problematic legacy. McCarran was an avowed fascist and he has been accused of espousing racist and anti-Semitic ideals.


Sisolak said during a meeting on Tuesday that he intends to name the McCarren International Airport after Reid, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He also said he will push to rename Reno-Tahoe International Airport after the late Sen. Paul Laxalt (R), the grandfather of Sisolak's Republican opponent in the governor's race, Adam Laxalt. 

“[Laxalt and Reid] both made massive contributions to the long-term well-being of the state of Nevada, and sometimes we don’t recognize people appropriately,” Sisolak said. 

Reid, who announced he was retiring from the Senate in 2015, spoke during his final floor speech about his wish to change the McCarran International Airport's name. 

“I’ve tried for years to get the name taken off, a Democratic senator from Nevada who was an awful man," Reid said, according to Roll Call. "I tried to get his name off of that. It didn’t work."

He noted that McCarran Airport is the fifth-busiest airport in the U.S. 

Nevada state Sen. Tick Segerblom, who championed a bill in 2017 that would have renamed the facility to the Harry Reid Las Vegas International Airport, estimated the name change would cost about $1.5 million. He said it could be paid for by private contributions, according to the Review-Journal.