James David Santini

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James David Santini
James David Santini.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's At-Large district
In office
January 3, 1975 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by David Towell
Succeeded by Harry Reid (1st District)
Barbara Vucanovich (2nd District)
Personal details
Born (1937-08-13) August 13, 1937 (age 77)
Reno, Nevada
Political party Democratic, Republican (after 1986)
Profession Attorney, Lobbyist

James David Santini (born August 13, 1937) was a United States Representative from Nevada.

Life and career[edit]

Santini was born in Reno, Nevada and attended the University of Nevada, Reno where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He was a lawyer before entering politics. He served as Nevada district court judge. He was elected to the US House in 1974, easily unseating incumbent Republican David Towell. He served there from 1975 to 1983, as a Democrat representing the state's at-large district. In Congress, Santini compiled a moderate-to-conservative record and won reelection by overwhelming margins. Santini ran for United States Senate in 1982, but was narrowly defeated in the Democratic primary by Howard Cannon.

Santini is the last person to represent the entire state in the US House, as reapportionment gave Nevada two Congressional seats as of the 1982 Congressional election. He was succeeded by Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Barbara Vucanovich in the newly created 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts respectively.

In 1986, he switched to the Republican Party and ran for the Senate seat vacated by the retiring Paul Laxalt. Although Santini won the Republican nomination easily, he was defeated in the general election by Reid. Santini received 47% of the vote.

Today, Santini continues to work in Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist representing a number of tourism-related interests. Among his major clients is the National Tour Association, which retains him as a legislative counsel for government issues related to the national and international tourism industry. Santini has been the federal legislation and regulation Washington, D.C., representative for NTA since 1983.

In 1990, Santini and his family appeared as contestants on the nighttime version of Family Feud.


United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Towell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Harry Reid (1st District)
Barbara Vucanovich (2nd District)