By Don Dike-Anukam
Late Friday night, Nevada’s representative for the 4th Congressional District, Steven Horsford (D-Las Vegas), admitted he had an extramarital affair with Gabriela Linder, a former political supporter and intern for Sen. Harry Reid.
According to Linder, the affair began more than a decade ago, continued for more than a year and resumed between 2017 and 2019.
Horsford gave this statement on Sunday:
“It is true that I had a previous consensual relationship with another adult outside of my marriage, over the course of several years. I’m deeply sorry to all of those who have been impacted by this very poor decision, most importantly my wife and family. Out of concern for my family during this challenging time, I ask that our privacy is respected.”
Linder told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that she is “Love Jones.” It’s a pseudonym she told the paper she used to share her story through a podcast called “Mistress for Congress.” Linder, now 32, was an intern for Reid when she and Horsford met in 2009. Horsford, now 47, was then the Nevada State Senate Majority Leader. At the time, Linder was an undergraduate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Linder never worked for Horsford.
In the “Mistress for Congress” podcast, Linder first identified Horsford by the pseudonym “Bob” but later revealed his identity. The story was first reported by Rory Appleton of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Repeated attempts by This is Reno to contact Linder went unanswered as of publication time, and she’s given few answers to the questions asked of her by other media outlets.
Rebuke from Horsford’s opponents in the upcoming Nevada primary were swift and sharp in the hours and days following the news.
Democratic candidate Brie D’Ayr said, “For eight long years the district has been represented by a series of men who have been plagued by personal scandal. Enough is enough.”
Jennifer Eason, also running against Horsford in the primary, said, “As the best Progressive choice for NVCD4, my thoughts go out to everyone impacted by the unfortunate situation surrounding Congressman Horsford. I believe it to be a private matter between him and his family, and the privacy requested should be granted to his wife and children. I believe Representative Horsford is an ineffective legislator for our district for a myriad of reasons unrelated to this.”
Equally sharp were Horsford’s opponents on the Republican side of the primary.
“First, I call on Steven Horsford to resign from Congress,” said candidate Lisa Song Sutton. “In addition, I call on the House Ethics Committee to begin an immediate investigation into Congressman Horsford’s actions as they relate to this longtime, extramarital affair, similar to the investigation that occurred with his immediate predecessor, disgraced former Congressman Ruben Kihuen. The people of Nevada’s 4th District deserve to know if any of our taxpayer dollars funded Steven Horsford’s nefarious activities.”
Navy veteran Charles Navarro, who’s also in the race, said Nevada deserves a representative that focuses on the job and the state.
“What we now know is that Mr. Horsford has not stopped manipulating the use of his office,” Navarro said. “From his time in Nevada’s state legislature and selling his connections for fundraising donations to serving in one of the highest offices in the country and using it to help his girlfriend for her personal gain by introducing her to his political contacts, giving her job recommendations and finally, giving her financial support.”
Congressional candidates Jim Marchant and Sam Peters echoed others’ calls for an investigation. Several candidates either could not be reached or gave no comment as of publication time, including Democrats George Brucato, Chris Colley and Gregory Kempton; and Republicans Rosalie Bingham, Leo Blundo, Randi Reed and Rebecca Wood.
Horsford, who had thus far maintained a significant campaign funding lead over the field of his challengers, may now be faced with the most difficult time in his many years as a public servant.