Bryan said Reid was 'tough,' had strategic vision


Associated Press

Richard Bryan, left, campaigns with Harry Reid, center, at a stop at UNR during Reid’s 2010 Senate re-election campaign.

Former Nevada Gov. Richard Bryan knew Harry Reid for 60 years, which included 12 years they spent together serving in the U.S. Senate.

Reid, who died Tuesday at 82, rose to become Senate majority leader, Bryan said, because he saw the big picture.

“Harry was much more focused, much more strategic, always looking at what he needed to do not just today and tomorrow but next year,” Bryan told State of Nevada last year.

Reid and Bryan, who were two years apart, first made acquaintance when they were freshly minted attorneys.

“The first time I met Senator Reid was in September of 1963, and we were together taking the state bar exam, which was then given only in Reno and once a year,” Bryan said, “and he came up and introduced himself to me, and we had a few words and then went back to taking the exam.”

The two rose to in Democratic politics, with Bryan serving as attorney general and governor before joining Reid in the Senate in 1988. Bryan used the word “tough” several times to describe Reid but said he would let others take credit for deals he helped cut in the back room.

“One of the other characteristics that made him very popular within his own party caucus, is he was not a publicity hog,” Bryan recalled. “There are those that I served with, at various levels of government that you did not want to get between them and a camera, you could be seriously injured. Reid was not that kind of a guy.”

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Richard Bryan, former Nevada governor and senator

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