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Nevada's Gov. Jim Gibbons gets testy about his, um, traveling companion

February 25, 2010 |  3:18 pm

JimDawnGibbonsapcathleenallison

Is party-hardy Nevada ready for a bachelor governor?

This week, Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons, who recently reached a divorce settlement with his estranged wife, Dawn, likely realized the perils of being an (almost) single public official running for reelection in a relatively small state.

On Monday night, just before the part-time Legislature convened to close an $887-million budget gap, a KLAS-TV news crew confronted Gibbons at the Reno airport. He was returning from a governors’ conference and presidential banquet in Washington.

Essentially, the crew asked: Who was your date?

Gibbons initially denied he was traveling with a woman named Kathy Karrasch, one of the women Dawn Gibbons had accused of being her husband’s mistress. Karrasch was also the infamous recipient of more than 800 text messages from the governor during the 2007 legislative session.

(She and Gibbons have denied they are romantically involved. In fact, in a recent deposition that KLAS obtained, the governor claimed he hasn’t had sex with anyone, including his wife, for 15 years: “I'm living proof that you can survive without sex for that long," he said.)

After Gibbons’ airport denial, the news crew cornered Karrasch outside. She was heading toward the governor’s state-owned SUV.

“You know what? I could have been in Las Vegas having tea with the first lady,” Karrasch said.

Soon after, Gibbons joined Karrasch, the wife of a Reno doctor, and offered a few choice words to the news crew.

“You are full of (expletive). You are. You really are. All you're doing out here late at night trying to make a scene,” Gibbons said.

The next day, Gibbons apologized for his denials. He apparently had no choice. Karrasch, according to a Reno TV station, had posted on Facebook that she had very much enjoyed dinner at the White House.

-- Ashley Powers

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Photo: The Gibbons couple in happier times. Credit: Cathleen Allison / Associated Press

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