Three former Senators inducted into Hall of Fame |

Three former Senators inducted into Hall of Fame

Former Nevada State Senators Terry Care, Dean Rhoads and Randolph Townsend were inducted into the Senate Hall of Fame Wednesday in recognition of their long service to the state.

Rhoads served as a lawmakers longer than the others — a total of 34 combined years in the Senate and Assembly.

Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, said among his other accomplishments, Rhoads, a Republican and Elko rancher, was one of the founders of the Sagebrush Rebellion that attempted to claim control of federal lands in the Silver State and around the west. Hardy said Rhoads chaired the Public Lands Subcommittee for 26 years working to protect the state’s residents’ access to public lands.

“He was the voice of the west,” Hardy said.

Rhoads, for his part, said with all the accolades, “I wasn’t sure they were talking about me.”

And he issued a warning to the body: “I read what you guys are doing down here so be careful. If I don’t like something, I’ll let you know.”

Senate Minority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said Care was only in the Senate 12 years, his service cut short by term limits but that he served with “great success.”

“He brought a brilliant mind and a common sense approach,” Ford said of Care.

He pointed out Care also served in Vietnam where he was wounded twice and received the bronze star for bravery.

Care, a Democrat, gave credit to his family: “I wouldn’t be standing here if it weren’t for my Republican wife, Republican daughter and Republican mother,” he said. “I’ve been working across the aisle for decades.”

Townsend served 28 years in the Senate — longest tenure in that body except for Joe Neal’s 32 years and Bill Raggio’s 38 years. Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, who currently holds the seat Townsend held, described him as “a natural aristocrat in the very best sense of the word.” He said he proudly claims Townsend as his mentor.

“After casting thousands of votes on this floor, I’m just damned glad to be invited anywhere,” Townsend said.

He gave credit to legislative staff saying, “we couldn’t do it without you.”

That brings the total membership of the Senate Hall of Fame to 42 former Senators.