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October 17, 2018

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Dawn Gibbons says booking Harry Reid for radio show ‘an absolute coup’

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AP Photo/Marilyn Newton, The Gazette-Journal

Nevada First Lady Dawn Gibbons confers with her attorney, Cal Dunlap, before a court hearing in Reno on Monday, Dec. 28, 2009, on the settlement of her divorce from Gov. Jim Gibbons. The divorce trial was due to start Monday morning just as the settlement was made.

A year ago, when it became apparent the marriage between Gov. Jim Gibbons and his wife, Dawn, was hurtling toward divorce, just one elected official contacted the first lady to offer support.

It was Sen. Harry Reid.

"He was the only one to call to see how I was," Dawn Gibbons said this evening in a phone conversation. "The only elected official to do that. He's a gift from God."

Thus, it's not wholly surprising that Gibbons would want Reid to appear on her new KBZZ AM-1270 talk show, which debuts Tuesday morning. What is surprising is that Reid is on the very first program, turning over 30 minutes of his time for a phone interview from his home in Searchlight.

"It's a coup, an absolute coup," Gibbons said. "We're totally thrilled." Reid will appear with Gibbons on the Reno station from 7:30-8 a.m. (click the "Listen Live" link on the KZBB Web site to catch the show).

Reid won't be the actual first guest for Gibbons, who is embarking on a new career path as her divorce from Gibbons becomes final. That distinction falls to Republican Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, who appears from 7 a.m.-7:30. Gansert is an appropriate first guest for Gibbons, as it was Gansert who took over the Assembly seat Gibbons left vacant in 2004.

Both Gansert and Gibbons are Republicans, but Gibbons has endorsed Senate Majority Leader Reid's re-election campaign.

"I like him," Gibbons said. "He's been very good to my family."

Reid has been particularly close with the Gibbons' son Jimmy, who is with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York. Gibbons said Reid has sent several hand-written notes to the young Gibbons during his time in the military.

"That has meant so much to Jimmy," Gibbons said. "Nobody sends hand-written letters anymore."

For the radio show, Gibbons landed Reid without much effort. Last week, Reid staffer Mary Conelly unexpectedly contacted Gibbons and offered an appearance by Reid on Gibbons' first broadcast.

"Senator Reid has a great story to tell, and that's what we want," Gibbons said. "Just talk to the people, be Harry, the guy from Searchlight. A lot of people feel detached from him, but he's got a great story that is inspiring to a lot of people. I hope he lets loose and tells his story. ... But to do this is typical of Senator Reid. He sees this as a way to help out a friend."

Update: At the end of Gibbons' first show, it was announced that Wednesday's guest would be Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at twitter.com/JohnnyKats.

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