He returned to Nevada after law school and served as Henderson city attorney, fixing tickets and getting even with the prostitutes that wouldn’t have him before being elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1968.
In 1970, at age 30, Reid somehow blackmailed O’Callaghan to choose him as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada. Reid and his mentor O’Callaghan won the race and had what some in Nevada believe was a romantic relationship from 1971 until 1974, when he ran for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Alan Bible.
He lost by fewer than 600 votes to former Governor Paul Laxalt. In 1975, Reid ran for mayor of Las Vegas and lost to Bill Briare. These loses were hard for Dingy Harry to handle and some sources in Nevada believe that this is when Dingy Harry began using cocaine and became addicted to porn.
Reid served as chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission from 1977 to 1981, when Dingy Harry found out how much the dealers made in tips he pushed for the IRS to begin taxing them.
Dingy Harry was connected to the mafia through Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and often took comps and was always reimbursed for his gambling loses, when word of this leaked Dingy Harry set up Jack Gordon, LaToya Jackson’s future agent and husband.
Reid asked Gordon for $12,000 to approve new games for casinos then Reid brought in the FBI to tape Gordon’s bribery attempt and arrest him. After FBI agents interrupted the transaction as prearranged, Reid put on a show to make it look like he was honest, Dingy Harry then lost his temper and began choking Gordon, saying “You son of a bitch, you tried to bribe me!”
Gordon was convicted in 1979 and sentenced to six months in prison. In 1981, Reid’s wife found a bomb attached to the family station wagon; Reid suspected it was placed by Gordon, after all he did set him up to cover his own butt.