Farewell, Jim Gibbons: The Tale Of One Term

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) has become the first incumbent governor in state history to lose a primary. With 13% of precincts reporting Tuesday night, the AP called the race for former federal judge Brian Sandoval. He will now face Rory Reid, son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who won the Democratic nomination.

Now Gibbons fades from the political spotlight. But for entertainment value alone, one hopes he won’t stay out of sight for long.The saga of Gibbons’ single term in office:

– In late 2006, before he even became governor, Gibbons was accused of assaulting a cocktail waitress in a parking garage. She “told police Gibbons threatened and sexually assaulted her.” Gibbons “said he caught her when she tripped.” No criminal charges were ever filed, but a civil suit is still pending. The case would dog Gibbons throughout the rest of this term.

– In 2008, he publicly — and messily — filed for divorce from his wife, Dawn. She accused him of having an affair. He denied it.

– In June 2008, it was revealed that Gibbons had sent 867 text messages to one of the ladies he swears he wasn’t having an affair with — “Kathy Karrasch,” TPMMuckraker reported, “a neighbor of the Gibbonses and the estranged wife of a Reno podiatrist.”

– Later on, we were introduced to “Leslie Durant, a former Playboy model who accompanied Gibbons to a rodeo in Reno.” Gibbons was caught on camera embracing her but claimed he didn’t sleep with her. In fact, he said he hadn’t slept with any women (including his wife) for 15 years.

– Finally, the divorce with Dawn was settled in December 2009.

– Back on the market, in February of this year Gibbons took a trip to Washington, D.C. with Karrasch, the recipient of all those text messages back when he was still married. But when Gibbons was confronted about the trip by a local news station, he denied it — a bunch of times — before finally coming clean and admitting it.

– Oh, in the middle of all this, Gibbons was cleared by the FBI of allegations that while a 5-term Congressman, he “he helped a friend win defense contracts and received luxury vacations and private flights in exchange.”

And that’s about it. One wonders why this guy had trouble getting reelected.