Celebrating Nevada’s Great Mugwump

Wikipedia reads: “The Mugwumps were Republican political activists who bolted from the United States Republican Party by supporting Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland in the United States presidential election of 1884.”

It’s fitting.

The newest exhibit at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City explores the early years of Nevada’s longest-serving State Senator, William J. Raggio. He spent 38 years in the State Senate, 18 years in the District Attorney’s Office and supported Senator Harry Reid in 2010 before dying two-years later at the age of 85.

There are hundreds of pieces that will eventually join the collection but the first part of the exhibit focuses on Raggio’s early life, especially his time as a Boy Scout. The museum is also in the process of cataloging the rest of his collection.

Meanwhile, other pieces of Nevada’s history are falling into disrepair. Some of them are to be found within the Department of Transportation building, where the roof leaks, birds defecate and mice chewed on others, leaving their droppings and bodies in and around historical items.

The state agency’s seen its budget cut nearly in half in recent years and a request for funding to find a permanent home for items not now on display was left out of the budget Governor Brian Sandoval presented to the legislature earlier this year. Sad to think that a horse-drawn buggy from the 1880’s that travelled Nevada’s old dirt tracks is less important than item’s displayed to deify a modern-day Progressive politician.

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