Politics and Government

Helen Herr

Helen Kolb Herr made history as the first woman elected to the Nevada State Senate. She was also the second woman elected from Clark County to serve in the Nevada assembly. As a lawmaker, Herr sponsored legislation designed to protect the interests of women, reform Nevada's prisons, and expand medical care for the impoverished.

Hattie Canty

Hattie Canty rose from the ranks of Las Vegas' hotel maids to become president of the Las Vegas Culinary Worker's Union Local 226. With little formal education, she led the union throughout the 1990s, a period of explosive growth in Las Vegas that included the construction of several megaresorts and one of the longest worker strikes in United States history. Under Canty's leadership, Culinary 226 emerged as one of the largest unions in Southern Nevada, representing the tens of thousands of workers employed in the hospitality industry.

Harry Reid

Harry Reid had a long, hard fight to get to the top of Nevada politics, and he's had to struggle just as hard to stay there. Born December 2, 1939, in Searchlight, Nevada, Reid attended high school in Henderson, where one of his teachers was future Nevada governor Mike O'Callaghan. Reid was elected student body president and graduated with a college scholarship. At Utah State University, he was active in campus politics, serving as freshman class president and organizing the campus's first Young Democrats chapter.

Gordon Newell Mott

Gordon Newell Mott sat on the Nevada territorial supreme court, playing a role in the pivotal single ledge case, which determined the ownership of Comstock mines; additionally, he served as a territorial delegate to Congress.

George Springmeyer and the Nevada Progressive Party

The Nevada Progressives emerged in the wake of a profound reconfiguration of the state's political parties. Following a brief flirtation in the 1890s with the Silver Party, quickly hijacked by the old guard, Nevada political sentiments shifted when the central Nevada mining boom after 1900 halted the long depression linked to the decline of mining.

George Malone

Although not highly regarded during his lifetime, Nevada politician George Malone has endured as a champion of conservative causes. He is quoted on right wing web sites on everything from free trade to the Korean armistice. Born August 7, 1890, in Fredonia, Kansas, Malone graduated from the University of Nevada in 1917, and then enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War I, rising from private to lieutenant in two years.

Fred Balzar

Fred Balzar was born in Virginia City, Nevada, on June 15, 1880. He was involved in mining and railroads and was Mineral County draft board chair during World War I. Balzar had a substantial officeholding record over the years.

Flora Dungan

Flora Turchinsky Dungan—social worker, accountant, university regent, and state legislator—brought the successful lawsuit that forced Nevada to reapportion its legislature and the governing board of its university system, giving Southern Nevada equal representation in state government.

Welsh: Nineteenth-Century Immigrants from Wales

For centuries, the Welsh gained international fame as miners. Nevertheless, they were slow to come to Nevada's mines. This was largely due to the fact that coal dominates Wales's industry, giving its workers experience more useful in the coal fields of the eastern United States than in western hard rock mines.


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