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Sisolak wants to rename Reno airport after Paul Laxalt

November 23, 2018
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FILE - This Aug. 6, 2014 file photo shows the FAA tower then under construction at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Nevada's next governor wants to rename the airport in Las Vegas after fellow Democrat and former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. Governor-elect Steve Sisolak also wants to rename the Reno-Tahoe International Airport after Republican Paul Laxalt, a former Nevada governor and U.S. senator who died in Aug. 2018. (Jeff Scheid/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak wants to rename Reno-Tahoe International Airport after former governor and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt.

Sisolak, who is currently chairman of the Clark County Commission, asked county staff on Tuesday to draft a letter asking Washoe County to consider the proposal, newspapers in Las Vegas and Reno reported.

The incoming Democratic governor also is seeking a name change at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, which he hopes to rechristen in honor of Democratic former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid served 30 years in the Senate before retiring in January 2017.

Laxalt, a GOP Reno native, helped build a family political dynasty in northern Nevada. He died in August at age 96.

Sisolak beat Laxalt’s grandson, Republican Adam Laxalt, in this month’s governor’s race. He said the younger Laxalt gave his blessing to the new airport name.

Sisolak says the Reid and Laxalt “made massive contributions to the long-term well-being of the state of Nevada.”

The Federal Aviation Administration would have to approve any changes.

Sisolak told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Clark County director of aviation Rosemary Vassiliadis will present a plan to the commission regarding McCarran’s name change early next month.

That airport, among the 10 busiest in the U.S. in passenger volume, is named after the late U.S. Sen. Pat McCarran.

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