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Mr. Sex Scandal Wins in Vegas

Nevada- Republican Jim Gibbons survived last-minute scandal and a tough year for Republicans to keep the Nevada governorship in Republican hands for four more years after a close battle.

Gibbons, a Reno congressman, was beating Democrat Dina Titus, a state senator, by more than 20,000 votes with most of the vote counted early today. Gibbons had 48 percent of the vote to Titus’ 44 percent.Advertisement

“The voters of Nevada have spoken, and I’m so humbled and so honored to be chosen as your next governor,” Gibbons, 61, told a cheering crowd of Republicans at Red Rock Resort around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. “There were times when it (the campaign) reminded me of ‘Groundhog Day,’ when I thought it would never end.”

It was a tense night for Gibbons and Titus, with the first round of statewide returns showing Titus ahead by 2,000 votes. But Gibbons soon took a 300-vote lead that continued to grow as the evening wore on and rural counties’ vote totals came in.

On his way to address his supporters, Gibbons told the Review-Journal he felt “magnificent” about his victory.

“It feels just wonderful,” he said.

The governor-elect said the controversies of the past weeks would not affect his ability to govern.

“Now that the truth is out, nothing we feel is going to divide us as we move forward,” Gibbons said.

Just three weeks before Election Day, Gibbons was hit with an accusation that he assaulted a Las Vegas woman in a parking garage after having drinks with her and others in a local bar-restaurant. Police are still investigating the allegations, but Gibbons has declared vindication after the release of surveillance tapes last week didn’t show him in the parking garage in question.

Gibbons also faced a newly surfaced charge that he hired an illegal immigrant household worker in the 1980s and a national news story that implied he took lavish gifts from a friend and campaign contributor in exchange for securing federal contracts for the friend’s company.

Gibbons will succeed Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn, who is leaving office after the constitutionally mandated limit of two terms.

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