Calls for Democrat Rep. Steven Horsford (NV) to resign from the U.S. Congress exploded over the weekend after he admitted to having an affair with an intern who worked for former Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).
Gabriela “Linder said the affair began in 2009, when she met Horsford — then the majority leader of the Nevada state Senate — during her time as an intern in former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada office,” the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. “They had a sexual relationship that continued intermittently until September 2019, Linder said, though the two remained in contact until April. Linder never worked for Horsford in any capacity.”
According to Las Vegas Review-Journal, Linder also indicated that Horsford filmed a video for her son’s YouTube channel using taxpayer-funded congressional resources.
“If this was a story in 2018, he wouldn’t have run,” Linder said. “He obtained this position under false pretenses that he was a family man and man of God. He should take a step back, atone, and if people are satisfied, then he can come back into politics.”
In a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Horsford admitted to the affair, saying, “It is true that I had a previous relationship 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 made the revelations on a podcast where she also claimed that Horsford “looked out for her over the years, from anything from a job recommendation to financial support.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal suggested that the reason Linder left Horsford was because he had talked to her about leaving his wife, but never did it.
“I decided I can’t wait, deserved more and didn’t want to be that person anymore,” Linder said. “And I realized someone who could lie that way is not someone who would be honorable to me.”
Horsford ran for Congress in 2018 after Democrat Rep. Ruben Kihuen (NV) did not run for re-election after facing sexual harassment allegations during the height of the #MeToo movement.
The House Ethics Committee later concluded that Kihuen violated the House’s code of conduct, writing in a report: “Kihuen made persistent and unwanted advances towards women who were required to interact with him as part of their professional responsibilities.”
Horsford’s sex scandal comes after Democrat Rep. Katie Hill (CA) resigned last year due to a sex scandal, and the Republican Party flipped her seat this year, the first time the party flipped a seat in California in over 20 years, when former Navy fighter pilot Mike Garcia won last week.
Several other House Democrats have faced allegations of sex scandals or investigations into possible sex scandals during the current congressional term, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), and Delegate Michael F. Q. San Nicolas of Guam (non-voting member).
Horsford’s sex scandal immediately led to calls for him to resign, including from Republican Congressional candidate Lisa Song Sutton, who is running to unseat Horsford.
“First, I call on Steven Horsford to resign from Congress,” Sutton said in a statement. “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.”
Sutton continued, “I speak to voters every single day who do not feel like they are being heard by Congressman Steven Horsford. His lack of community involvement was a key factor in my deciding to run for this position. Given this news, I am infuriated. I am infuriated for Nevadans of the 4th district. This just solidifies what we already knew: that we deserve better representation. We are in the middle of an economic and health crisis. Nevada’s economy has taken a beating and our community is on the ropes. We have nearly 500,000 Nevadans on unemployment. Our largest sources of revenue for the state: tourism, hospitality, gaming, and mining, have been severely impacted with a long road to recovery.”
“We need a strong leader who is going to be 110 percent focused on rebuilding our economy and taking swift action FOR the people,” Sutton concluded. “This seat has been plagued by distractions and scandals by men who cannot stay focused on their responsibilities because they are too busy chasing women. Horsford is not fit to lead us. His family will be in my prayers.”
The news about @RepHorsford's long term extramarital affair simply solidifies what we already knew: that we are not a priority to him.
— Lisa Song Sutton for Congress (R-NV) (@LisaSongSutton) May 17, 2020
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