Nevada governor settles divorce case

Dec. 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM

RENO, Nev., Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has agreed to a divorce from his wife Dawn, averting a much-anticipated trial, attorneys say.

Attorneys for the first couple, appearing Monday in Washoe County, Nev., Family Court, said the pair had reached an 11th-hour divorce settlement, 22 months after the governor announced his intentions to divorce his wife, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

The long court dispute between the pair exposed Gibbons to much negative publicity as he seeks another term in office, including photos of him embracing a former Playboy model outside the Reno Rodeo grounds as well as allegations that he had exchanged 860 text messages with a Reno woman, the newspaper said.

The Sun said Gibbons' popularity has taken a tumble since the divorce proceedings began, and now faces a tall task to get past the June Republican gubernatorial primary election, much less winning the November general election.

"No matter what he says, that it has not been a distraction, of course it has been a distraction," Robert Uithoven, Gibbons' former campaign manager, told the newspaper.

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