Harry Reid's "tough decision"

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in Washington, D.C., January 5, 2014. CBS News/Chris Usher

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., he has sold his home in Searchlight, a dusty town in the harsh southern Nevada desert, and several mining claims to a gold mining company, the senator said Monday.

The Democratic majority leader said he sold his home, 110 acres and water rights to Nevada Milling and Mining for $1.7 million. The deal closed Friday.

Reid was born in the tiny town 60 miles south of Las Vegas, where as a young boy he often went into the gold mine with his father, who was a miner.

"I had a tough decision to make," Reid told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I'm very sentimental. This was my home."

Reid said his home afforded a 25 to 30-mile view.

But Reid said over the years the mining operation grew closer to the home he built about 14 years ago. Before that, the Reids had a mobile home on the property.

The mining company purchased another piece of land about two years ago, Reid said, and approached him after that to buy the Reids' holdings.

"We're going to buy something in Las Vegas closer to my family," Reid said. "Three boys in Las Vegas have homes that are very close to each other."

"Landra and I love Searchlight, the place of my birth, and the memories we have there, but the time came to sell and do something different," Reid said. "We want to be closer to our 16 grandchildren who live in southern Nevada and be able to spend time with them."

Reid's grandfather and grandmother settled in Searchlight around the turn of the 20th Century. The senator wrote about his father's life in the mines in his book, "The Good Fight."

"Even with the physical risk, and the toll on his body, my dad loved being a miner," Reid wrote, saying his father "was more content battling the earth than being around people."

The deal with Nevada Milling included eight mining claims. In a separate sale, the Reid's also sold to other mining claims to American Capital Energy.

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