U.S. Rep. Dina Titus of Las Vegas has introduced a bill seeking to instead name the top of Frenchman Mountain after Maude Frazier, a fellow Democrat and the first female lieutenant governor of Nevada.
"This was a cheap, petty, partisan political stunt," conservative activist Chuck Muth of Las Vegas, who proposed the Reagan Peak name, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal ( http://bit.ly/18vbFsC).
But Titus spokesman Caitlin Teare said there's no personal or political motive behind the bill.
"It's simply an effort to name a Nevada landmark after a notable Nevadan," he said. "What could be a better way to celebrate Nevada's 150th birthday than honoring one of our own?"
The Nevada Board on Geographic Names approved the Reagan Peak proposal in September. The national board was expected to consider the issue by the end of the year, but now any action is on hold pending the outcome of Titus' bill.
The measure was referred to the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation shortly after it was introduced Oct. 30. Nothing has been done with it since in the Republican-controlled House.
Muth's effort is an offshoot of the Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, which national conservative leader Grover Norquist launched in 1997 in hopes of naming as many landmarks as possible after Reagan.
Muth said he plans to discuss options with Norquist on how to proceed. Even if Titus' bill goes nowhere in the House, Muth thinks she might have found a way to keep the Reagan Peak proposal on hold indefinitely.
Teare said Titus merely saw an opportunity to name an unnamed mountain summit after an important local figure in southern Nevada history.
Frazier was a teacher, principal and superintendent of schools in Las Vegas. She was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 1950 and served for 12 years. She also is credited with being the driving force behind the creation of what is now the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Neither Titus nor Muth are seeking to change the name of the mountain at the Las Vegas Valley's eastern edge. They merely want their proposed name associated with the top of Frenchman Mountain.
UNLV professor Margaret Rees, a member of the state naming board, questions whether anyone deserves to have their name associated with the mountain's summit. She notes there's nothing impressive about the treeless, 4,052-foot peak with a communication tower standing on it.
In 1996, then-state Sen. Titus easily fought off an election challenge from Muth.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com