Gov. Jim Gibbons reports $165,000 in campaign contributions |

Gov. Jim Gibbons reports $165,000 in campaign contributions

Associated Press Writer

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons on Tuesday reported $165,250 in campaign contributions for his re-election bid and almost as much in expenses, raising questions about whether he has the finances to mount a campaign and survive June’s GOP primary.

The first-term Republican governor reported nearly $130,000 in expenses, leaving only $35,000 on hand, according to the report received via mail by the secretary of state’s office.

Gibbons’ total is a fraction of the $903,000 that GOP gubernatorial rival Brian Sandoval reported raising in the last three months of last year. Sandoval began campaigning after he resigned his lifetime appointment from the federal judiciary in September, and last week reported still having $750,000 in the bank.

Gibbons’ comparatively paltry sums leave his re-election in further doubt.

“That’s just a dismal total, and the fact that he’s spent almost most of it is even worse,” said Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The amount of money Gibbons has on hand is about 5 percent of Sandoval’s campaign chest.

“This is a total that would be low even for an Assembly race,” Herzik said. “I don’t see how he runs a campaign with this little amount of money. And when you have such a small amount, it’s hard to get more because you’re not seen as a credible candidate.”

The Gibbons campaign did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

A poll conducted earlier this month for the Las Vegas Review-Journal showed 39 percent of respondents favoring Sandoval over Gibbons. Some 23 percent of respondents said they backed the governor and 31 percent were undecided.

Another GOP hopeful, former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montadon, last week reported raising $303,000 and spending most of it.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid, a Clark County commissioner, reported raising $3.3 million.