RENO - Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, seeking a divorce from first lady Dawn Gibbons, has told a Reno television station he doesn't want to be "a lonely governor" and plans on dating - but doesn't have a girlfriend.
In an interview aired Wednesday, Gibbons talked about his ongoing divorce and told KOLO-TV that he wants people to know he's "just like they are."
The first-term Republican filed for a divorce in May. Dawn Gibbons later filed legal documents alleging the governor's "infatuation" with another woman was the reason for his move to end their marriage of 22 years.
"You know, I do have friends who are female," Gibbons told KOLO-TV, adding, "Does it mean they are girlfriends? No."
Gibbons also said he plans on dating and people should expect to see him out with friends.
"At my age, 63, I want to find a friend, someone that I can come home and talk to, somebody that I can share the experience of the day, and I can help them and together we can be just like you, just like anyone else, happy," Gibbons said. "It's all about being happy."
"Am I going to date? Absolutely," he said. "Am I going to find somebody to bring, that may be different from day to the next, to an event? Absolutely."
"And I want the public to know that I'm still their governor, that I still love this job, that I still love this state. Nothing is changing that."
Gibbons recently apologized for using a state-owned cell phone to send more than 860 text messages over several weeks last year to the estranged wife of a Reno doctor. He has been seen in Reno several times with the woman, who he termed a longtime friend, but said he doesn't see her any more.