Robert Olmer, a former ski resort marketing executive working his first political campaign job, said he didn't mean to be derogatory, just that any first lady doesn't have much impact on policy or legislative matters, the Las Vegas Sun reported.
Gibbon's divorce from his wife Dawn was settled in a Reno court Monday and Olmer told the Reno Gazette-Journal Tuesday, "Essentially, any first lady is to a large extent window dressing, just showing up for public events."
Gibbons, whose poll approval ratings are below 20 percent, distanced himself from Olmer in a statement Wednesday.
"Mr. Olmer's recent remarks about the position of first lady in Nevada were beyond inappropriate and were demeaning, sexist, and do not, in any way, reflect my feelings," the 65-year-old Republican governor said.
The Sun reported Olmer said his comment "was not meant in any negative fashion" and he was "disappointed" he was fired.
"From the governor's point of view, I certainly understand what he did and why he did it," Olmer said.
Gibbons, who served in the U.S. House from 1997-2006, faces challenges from former federal judge Brian Sandoval and former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon in the 2010 primary election. Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid has announced his candidacy on the Democratic side.