SEARCHLIGHT, Nev. — Harry Reid grew up in a shack in this dusty old gold-mining outpost in the middle of the desert.
he rose to political power, he amassed personal wealth and began living
part time in a condo in Washington. But he never stopped holding
tightly to a gritty public persona grounded in his Searchlight roots —
building a house here and keeping the town his official residence.
the way, a tiny town that thrived only briefly during a gold rush more
than a century ago gained bragging rights as home to the most powerful
man in the U.S. Senate.
But this month has brought a remarkable
turn of events for Searchlight and its population of a few hundred: A
new gold rush has reignited investor interest here. And Reid, whose land
quite literally sat on a gold mine, has seized the opportunity to cash
out of the town at the center of his political identity.
He announced last month that he had sold his house along with 110 acres of Joshua-tree-dotted, rocky land to Nevada Milling and Mining,
a small South Dakota company that bought an abandoned mine next door in
2010 and has high hopes for a new era of gold production.
The $1.75 million deal was a handsome payout for Reid (D), who is paid a Senate salary of $193,400 per year