Gibbons Exploring Bid for Governor

Congressman Jim Gibbons, R-Nevada
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Rep. Jim Gibbons said he is putting together a cabinet of organizers and county coordinators to prepare for a possible run for Nevada governor in 2006.

Gibbons, R-Nev., said Monday he may also consider running for the U.S. Senate in 2006 if incumbent senator and fellow Republican John Ensign doesn't seek re-election, the Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard reported in a copyrighted story to be published Tuesday.

"John Ensign has given every indication he will run in 2006, so unless he changes his mind, I am focusing on the race for governor in three years," Gibbons told the newspaper.

Gibbons, 58, said education would be a main issue in his campaign.

"Nevadans deserve a first-class public education system and I will focus on that in my campaign," he said.

Last week, the four-term congressman announced he would not challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid next year.

Gibbons, 58, said he didn't want to abandon his duties on the House Homeland Security and Intelligence committees to campaign and take on Reid.

"If I had decided to run against Sen. Reid, it would have taken me 14 months to campaign across the state and raise $6 million to defeat Reid," Gibbons said. "I would have abandoned my duties and responsibilities to the two House committees, so I have put my personal political ambitions for governor on hold until 2006."

Gibbons, who recently returned from a week in Iraq, said he is convinced Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction at that they will be uncovered.

"We have seven-and-a-half miles of documents in Arabic documenting the presence of these weapons in Iraq," he said. "We have lab notebooks detailing the research of Iraqi scientists in developing the weapons and we have found mobile labs.

"All of this will be made public soon," Gibbons said.