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VIDEO: “It Didn’t Matter If You Were a Democrat or Republican, Senator Laxalt Would Be Your Friend”

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) to honor the life and legacy of former Nevada governor and U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt, who Heller has described as a leader, friend, and mentor during a speech he delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate earlier today. The resolution, S.Res.609, was co-sponsored by every member of the U.S. Senate and it is available HERE. The video of Heller’s remarks in honor of Laxalt, who passed away on Monday, August 6th, 2018 at the age of 96, is available HERE.

“Senator Laxalt was a hero and mentor to me and many others who grew up in Carson City. Like Paul, my mother, my children and I also went to Carson High School. I played on the basketball team and my daughter Emmy was the student body president, following in Senator Laxalt’s shoes. Before my daughter Emmy took office, she reached out to previous Carson High School student body presidents to ask for their advice. Senator Laxalt was gracious and told her the following: ‘When I was elected as student body president, Franklin Roosevelt was President of the United States. With World War II looming on the horizon, my fellow classmates and I had no idea how dramatically our lives would be altered in the next few years. Of course, the school itself was much different. I doubt that there were more than 30 students in my entire class. Until my senior year, all classes - K through 12 - were in the same building! I know Emmy has never forgotten that advice,” Heller said during remarks he delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate today.

Click HERE or the above image to watch the video of Heller’s full remarks.
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“Senator Laxalt set a high bar for all us kids who went to Carson High School, but also showed us all the possibilities of what could be achieved as Nevadans. When I was sworn in as a freshman member in the House of Representatives, Senator Laxalt was there for me on day one. I’ll never forget his support, and his advice - always stay close to family, friends, and your constituents, they will never lead you astray. Having been a presidential campaign advisor to President Reagan, President Bush, and Senator Dole, Senator Laxalt’s advice carried great weight, and I knew I needed to listen to every piece of advice that he was willing to give me. Senator Laxalt also had a profound impact on many of my colleagues here in the Senate. It didn’t matter if you were a Democrat or Republican, Senator Laxalt would be your friend,” Heller during a speech on the U.S. Senate floor earlier today.

Born in Reno, Nevada to immigrants from the Basque region of Europe, Laxalt dedicated his life to serving Nevada and this country. He not only spent more than 40 years in public service on behalf of Nevada, he also fought for his country during World War II. From helping to develop the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to forming Nevada’s first community colleges, Laxalt’s legacy of leadership and delivering for Nevada will live on for generations.

During the bipartisan 22nd Annual Tahoe Summit at Sand Harbor State Park in Incline Village days after Laxalt’s passing, Heller reflected on Laxalt’s work to protect Lake Tahoe. “As my friend and mentor Paul Laxalt – whose family by the way owns property just north of us – once said, ‘I guess our reward for these efforts is being able to view beautiful Lake Tahoe – still blue, still clear – and say, we had a little bit to do with saving it,” Heller said at this year’s Tahoe Summit. “Paul had a lot to do with saving it. In fact, there is no one who has done more for this Lake than Paul Laxalt. Paul was a son of Nevada whose legacy of leadership and delivering for Nevada and for this lake that we all love will live on for generations to come.”

The full text of the resolution can be found below:

Whereas Paul Dominique Laxalt was born to Dominique Laxalt and Therese (Alpetche) Laxalt on August 2, 1922, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno, Nevada;

Whereas Dominique Laxalt and Therese Laxalt were immigrants from the Basque region in Europe;

Whereas Dominique Laxalt was a sheepherder and Therese Laxalt operated a family-owned hotel in Carson City, Nevada;

Whereas Paul Laxalt was the oldest child and sibling to Robert, Suzanne, John, Marie, and Peter;

Whereas Paul Laxalt attended Carson High School, where he was student body president and played on the 1938 State basketball champion team;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served his country in the United States Army as a medic during World War II and saw action at the Battle of Leyte in the Philippines;

Whereas Paul Laxalt married Jackalyn Ross in 1946 and had 6 children: Gail, Sheila, Michelle, Kevin, Kathleen, and John Paul;

Whereas Paul Laxalt attended Santa Clara University and graduated from law school at the University of Denver in 1949;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served as district attorney for Ormsby County, Nevada, from 1951 to 1954;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served as Nevada Lieutenant Governor from 1963 to 1967;

Whereas Paul Laxalt ran for the United States Senate in 1964 but lost by 48 votes;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served as Governor of the State of Nevada from 1967 to 1971;

Whereas, as Governor of the State of Nevada, Paul Laxalt—

(1) formed the first community colleges and began the first medical school in Nevada;

(2) helped develop the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to protect and preserve Lake Tahoe;

(3) advanced the gaming industry in Nevada;

(4) expanded the park system; and

(5) in 1968, appointed Reverend William Wynn to be Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, who was the first African American in Nevada to serve in the cabinet of a governor;

Whereas, in 1975, Paul Laxalt married Carol Wilson, who had a daughter, Denise, who he adopted;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served as United States Senator for the State of Nevada from 1974 to 1987;

Whereas Paul Laxalt was known as “the first friend” to President Ronald Reagan;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served as presidential campaign chairman for Ronald Reagan in 1976, 1980, and 1984;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served as General Chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1983 to 1987;

Whereas Paul Laxalt ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1987;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served as presidential campaign advisor to George H.W. Bush in 1988;

Whereas Paul Laxalt served as presidential campaign advisor to Senator Bob Dole in 1996;

Whereas Paul Laxalt was a partner in a New York-based law firm and a successor law firm, Laxalt, Washington, Perito & Dubuc, and also formed a government consulting firm known as the Paul Laxalt Group; and

Whereas the State of Nevada and the United States are deeply indebted to Paul Laxalt for his lifelong dedication to public service and commitment to improving the lives of all of the people of the State of Nevada and the United States: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That—

(1) the Senate—

(A) has heard with profound sorrow and deep regret the announcement of the death of the Honorable Paul Laxalt, former Member of the United States Senate;

(B) extends deepest condolences and gratitude to the family of Paul Laxalt; and

(C) honors the legacy and life of Paul Laxalt, his commitment to the people of the State of Nevada and the United States, and his service to the Senate;

(2) the Secretary of the Senate communicate this resolution to the House of Representatives and transmit an enrolled copy thereof to the family of the deceased; and

(3) when the Senate adjourns today, it stands adjourned as a further mark of respect to the memory of the late Paul Laxalt.


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