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Gibbons hires spokeswoman

With just a little more than five weeks before early voting, Gov. Jim Gibbons has hired a communications director for his re-election campaign.

On Tuesday Gibbons announced he has hired Jill Lufrano, a former northern Nevada newspaper reporter and Division of Environmental Protection spokesperson for the job.

Lufrano, a lifelong Republican, has a big job on her hands.

She’s directing communications for a campaign that has little money and a candidate who statewide polls show is rated unfavorably by most voters.

Lufrano is undeterred. She said she met only briefly with the Gibbons before accepting the job.

"Within five minutes I knew that I wanted to be part of his campaign," she said. "He is a man who has excellent ideas. He has a background of service to Nevada and the country."

Gibbons is set to embark tomorrow on a northern Nevada campaign trip that will include stops in Winnemucca and Elko.

He’s also expected to start airing radio ads aimed at improving his standing in the Republican primary race, in which the latest statewide poll by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research shows him trailing former federal judge Brian Sandoval by 14 percentage points.

Expect Gibbons to take aim at Sandoval directly, if Lufrano’s conversation is any indication.

"He has never quit, which is something that Brian Sandoval cannot say," she said of Gibbons and referencing Sandoval’s career trajectory from state assemblyman to gaming commission chairman to attorney general to federal judge and, currently, candidate for governor.

Former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon is also running and could split the hard core conservative vote with Gibbons.

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