Nevada congressional delegation financial reports released

WASHINGTON -- For their political differences, Nevada lawmakers Shelley Berkley and Dean Heller share one thing in common. They both married into money.

Annual personal finance reports released Wednesday in Congress show that the better halves of Democratic Rep. Berkley and Republican Sen. Heller are also the more-monied halves.

Berkley, who will challenge Heller for his U.S. Senate seat in 2012, reported family assets of more than $8.4 million. Most of it is in the name of her husband, Las Vegas nephrologist Dr. Larry Lehrner. The couple married in 1999.

Heller and his wife, Lynne, have been married more than 25 years. The former Lynne Brombach holds interests in two family partnerships owning real estate and other investments valued at $2 million.

The reports provide a glimpse, and sometimes bits of color, about the financial lives of lawmakers, who are required to file updates each May for release by Congress a month later.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., disclosed he still is paying off at least $50,000 left on student loans that got him through medical school 23 years ago.

And Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and his wife, Landra, hitched a ride home last Christmas on a private plane owned by the husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. The ride was reported as a gift valued at $14,500.

Lawmakers are allowed to report their assets and liabilities in broad categories, making it difficult to pinpoint values. They also do not report their salaries, which for a senator or House member is $174,000.

Reid as Senate majority leader is paid $193,400.

The following is a breakdown of the Nevadans' finances gleaned from their filings:

■ Reid, 71, reported he is worth at least $3.4 million, and as much as $10.3 million. Much of his wealth is in land and mining claims in the Southwest, stock funds, and municipal and school bonds. His liquid assets are managed in a blind trust.

■ Heller, 51, reported family wealth of between $2.3 million and $2.6 million. The former Nevada secretary of state is owed state retirement of between $50,000 and $100,000.

■ Berkley, 60, reported family wealth that could be as high as $16.6 million. Since they married, Berkley and Lehrner have invested as a couple in real estate, including two properties in Pahrump and two townhouses in Washington.

■ Heck, 49, reported wealth at between $378,000 and $895,000. He earned $101,132 last year as an emergency room doctor and a medical consultant but dissolved the consultancy after taking office. He and his wife, Lisa, have socked away at least $15,000 in a college fund for their teenage son, Joey.