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Nevada Senate: The Candidates

Harry M. Reid (D) | John Ensign (R)

Primary Contender:
Ralph Stephens

Sen. Harry M. Reid (D), incumbent
The two-term senator began his political career in the Nevada Assembly in 1969 and was elected lieutenant governor in 1971. Reid lost his 1974 U.S. Senate bid to Sen. Paul D. Laxalt (R) by a razor-thin margin, and lost a 1976 race for Las Vegas mayor. Reid chaired the powerful Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1981 and won election to the 1st District U.S. House seat in 1982. Elected to the Senate in 1986, Reid is known as a friend of the gaming industry and is a staunch opponent of creating a temporary high-level nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain. He also strongly supports a balanced budget amendment.
Campaign Web site

Rep. John Ensign (R)
Before he won election to the 1st Congressional District seat as part of the 1994 Republican sweep, Ensign was a casino manager and veterinarian. His Senate candidacy is likely to split support in the gaming industry, which also strongly supports Reid. A member of the Promise Keepers religious organization, Ensign is considered a conservative and opposes the proposal to create a temporary nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain.
Campaign Web site

Primary Contender
Ralph Stephens (R)
A political novice, Stephens, an ophthalmologist, is hoping to use his centrist position to gain moderates' support.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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