CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The conservative Republican who rose to political power as a Nevada governor, U.S. senator and close ally to Ronald Reagan has died. Paul Laxalt was 96.
A public relations firm says he died Monday at a health care facility in Virginia.
Laxalt was a son of Basque immigrants who had a storied political career, including a brief run for president in 1987.
He started his political career by getting elected district attorney in 1954. Laxalt won his first statewide race, for lieutenant governor, in 1962. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1964 by a scant 84 votes, but bounced back by winning the governor's race in 1966.
Laxalt also helped to launch the state's community college system, medical school, and Lake Tahoe preservation efforts.