CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Three Democratic congressional representatives are asking state lawmakers to act to remove a statue of former Nevada senator from the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall, alleging that he left a "legacy of racism, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia."
Nevada Reps. Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen and Jacky Rosen raised their objections to the statue of former Sen. Patrick McCarran in a letter this week to Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford and Assembly Speaker-designate Jason Frierson.
"It is time to retire the McCarran statue to Nevada and choose a better suited individual to represent us in National Statuary Hall," the letter said.
The statue of McCarran, a Democrat in the Senate from 1933 until his death in 1954, was added to the hall in 1960, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/2j6nend).
The Reno native was a fervent anti-communist who advocated for severe immigration laws and was one of a few Democrats to oppose President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal program.
McCarran also was influential in promoting the advancement of aviation, and the busy international airport in Las Vegas is named after him.
But former Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid campaigned to remove McCarran's name from the airport for his record of racism and anti-Semitism.
Even before his retirement after 34 years in Congress including 10 years as Democratic party leader, Reid's name has been floated for the airport.
To replace the statue in the U.S. Capitol, the state Legislature must pass a resolution identifying the statue to be replaced along with the name of a replacement, and several other requirements.
Each state is invited to place two statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Nevada added its second honoree in 2005 with a statue of 19th century Northern Paiute author and educator Sarah Winnemucca.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com