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Paul Laxalt, Former Nevada Governor, Dies At 96

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The conservative Republican who rose to political power as a Nevada governor, U.S. senator and close ally to Ronald Reagan has died. Paul Laxalt was 96.

A public relations firm says he died Monday at a health care facility in Virginia.

Laxalt was a son of Basque immigrants who had a storied political career, including a brief run for president in 1987.

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He started his political career by getting elected district attorney in 1954. Laxalt won his first statewide race, for lieutenant governor, in 1962. He lost a U.S. Senate race in 1964 by a scant 84 votes, but bounced back by winning the governor's race in 1966.

Laxalt also helped to launch the state's community college system, medical school, and Lake Tahoe preservation efforts.