Congressman Steven Horsford, a representative of Nevada‘s 4th congressional district, admitted to having a longstanding affair with Gabriela Linder, whom he met while she was an intern for Senator Harry Reid. Linder revealed The Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday night that she’s “Love Jones,” a pseudonym she picked in her podcast, “Mistress for Congress,” in which she detailed the affair publicly.
Linder described her podcast as “an audio memoir told week by week, of a young woman’s affair with a sitting Congressman, that began in 2009 and would span over a decade. Update – April 29, 2020: The identity of the Congressman revealed to be Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nevada) via Twitter @M4C_2020.” There are four podcast episodes posted, with a fifth installation of “Mistress for Congress” set to premiere on Sunday.
Episode 5 of Mistress for Congress: "Daddy Issues" coming this Sunday! Another emotional and deeply personal episode, Love talks about her daddy issues and how they play a role in her affair with Congressman Steven Horsford.
— Love Jones (@M4C_2020) May 14, 2020
Linder told Review-Journal that her affair with the democratic congressman started in 2009 when he was the majority leader of the Nevada state Senate. After meeting at an event, they shared an intimate relationship between 2009 to 2010, and then again from 2017 until September 2019.
Horsford confirmed the news of the affair on May 15. He told the outlet, “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.”
Horsford, 47, married to wife Dr. Sonya Douglass Horsford since 2000, first served as Nevada’s 4th District’s representative from 2013 to 2014. After Representative Ruben Kihuen stepped down, Horsford ran again in 2018 against Republican candidate Cresent Hardy and won.
Here’s what you need to know about Horsford’s affair with Linder:
1. Linder Revealed the Affair As ‘An Empowering Journey’ & Believes Horsford Should End His Bid for Re-Election
Linder told the Review-Journal, “If this was a story in 2018, he wouldn’t have run. 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.”
Nevada's 4th Congressional District seat has been plagued by men and their misconduct. It's time for a WOMAN! It's a good thing there appears to be smart, capable women running on both sides of the aisle.
— Love Jones (@M4C_2020) May 4, 2020
I'm not on a quest for accolades or recognition, but if I can make just one woman feel seen and empowered, then I know I'm on the right path.
— Love Jones (@M4C_2020) May 13, 2020
Linder asked Horsford to appear on her podcast but on May 9, under her “Love Jones” Twitter handle, tweeted his alleged response. She wrote, “In response to the request from my production team to come on the show, @RepHorsford emailed me directly advising he retained Howard Schiffman with Schulte Roth & Zabel and to contact him directly to ‘resolve this matter’ and that ‘failing to resolve this is going to be damaging to everyone.'”
Linder was 21 when she first started having an affair with Horsford, who was 36 at the time. She said, “He knew how in love with him I was, and he knew what he could do and get away with. He knows I would support him. He never told me to keep quiet. He didn’t have to. He knew I was loyal to a fault.”
2. Horsford Appeared On Linder’s Son’s YouTube Show On April 1
While Horsford and Linder were no longer sharing a sexual relationship, the two remained in touch. Linder, who works in personal injury law according to her LinkedIn profile, shared text messages on Twitter between her and the congressman after Horsford agreed to appear on her son Pax Liam’s YouTube show on April 1.
— Love Jones (@M4C_2020) May 3, 2020
On her “Mistress of Congress” podcast, Linder clarified that Horsford is not the father of her Pax. She says that he was born from a relationship she had while a law student at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During this time, she and Horsford were not hooking up.
3. Horsford Denied He Ever Gave Linder Financial Assistance
Linder never worked for Horsford, but on episode 3 of “Mistress of Congress,” she said that he “looked out for over the years, from anything from a job recommendation to financial support.”
However, Horsford’s aide told the Journal-Review that he never gave Linder money. “This was a private relationship of the congressman’s and this was in no way related to his public office,” the aide said. Linder “never received any compensation from the congressman or from the campaign over the course of their private relationship.”
4. Horsford Is A Father to One Daughter & Two Sons
Horsford has spent the past few months amid the coronavirus pandemic with his family, including his wife Sonya, and their three children, Bryson, Benjamin, and Ella, in Nevada.
The Las Vegas native shared a family photo on April 12 from his official Facebook page with the caption, “From my family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend and are healthy & well. These are trying times for Nevada and our country, but I know that we will get through this together. Until then, please stay home for Nevada, and thank you for your continued support.”
5. Horsford’s Wife Sonya Is a Professor, Published Author & Activist
Energized to mobilize after the @TheBlackCaucus National Black Leadership Summit! Learned so much from all of the presenters and panelists. Grateful to have @BERC_TC be a part of this historic convening and next steps. #CBC2020Summit @iumetccolumbia @TeachersCollege pic.twitter.com/PSDsU0zIUe
— Sonya Douglass Horsford (@SonyaHorsford) February 5, 2020
Dr. Sonya Douglass Horsford works as an Associate Professor of Education Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she serves as Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Urban and Minority Education and Co-Director of the Urban Education Leaders Program, according to her website.
Like her husband, Sonya is deeply passionate about politics and activism. She’s the founding director of the Black Education Research Collective, which helps connect Black studies with public policy in underserved communities. Sonya has also published two books: Learning in a Burning House: Educational Inequality, Ideology, and (Dis)Integration in 2011, and The Politics of Education Policy in an Era of Inequality: Possibilities for Democratic Schooling in 2018.
Sonya has not yet made a public statement following her husband’s admitted affair.