He graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1942 and then attended the California Institute of Technology, graduating in 1950 with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He served in the United States. House of Representatives, and as the 39th Lieutenant Governor of California. Reinecke served in the House of Representatives between 1965 and 1969. He subsequently served as the 39th Lieutenant Governor of California, from January 8, 1969 to October 2, 1974.
He lost to the more liberal Grand Old Party candidate, Houston I. Flournoy, who was then defeated by the Democrat, Jerry Brown.
Reinecke was convicted of perjury and sentenced to 18 months in prison as part of the Watergate investigation. He resigned one day before his sentencing, which was overturned on appeal because "the Senate Judiciary Committee before which he was accused of perjuring himself had failed to publish its rule permitting a one-man quorum.".
As a member of the Interior committee, he worked to preserve Western rivers (including the Colorado River, which was to be dammed within the Grand Canyon).