Sam Peters is the Republican challenger for Congress in Nevada’s Congressional District 4. The incumbent Democrat, Steven Horsford, had a publicly-known, decade-long affair, that he has admitted to. Peters has not made his opponent’s infidelity a campaign issue previously.
Monday, Peters held a press conference speaking on this issue for the first time, saying,
“My need to speak up today has been thrust to the forefront of this campaign by two reasons. First, some very serious allegations that have been levied by Mr. Horsford’s estranged spouse. And, secondly, the obvious avoidance of reporting by much of the media of reporting of the string of events that have occurred and released by Ms. Douglass, Mr. Horsford’s wife.”
Peters began by addressing the allegations, pointing to social media messages posted by Ms. Douglass, and offering copies to reporters in attendance. Peters read Ms. Douglass’ messages directly saying, “Because they are that important.”
Ms. Douglass’ posts read:
I was just minding my business until Steven and his attorney demanded I sign an NDA that would ban me from speaking about my 22-year marriage, his 10-year affair, and our divorce FOREVER. It includes $10,000 fines for each remark or social post. Even to a therapist! Y’all!
I had no intention of posting anything and kept quiet the entire campaign. To think I would even want to mention his name is ridiculous. Who looks through the trash after you’ve taken it out? But I don’t respond well to bullying or intimidation so here we are.
And he’s already blaming me should he lose his race. Refuses to take responsibility for his own actions. He had hundreds of chances to do the right thing but he chose violence.
“So serious the secret, that Horsford will levy a ten thousand dollar fine, against his wife, for the mere mention of an affair that he’s responsible for. These tactics are so disgraceful and they draw question to his character, his trustworthiness, and his ability to serve in the capacity of a Congressman. If he will extort his wife, what will he do to you, his constituent?“
Peters addresses his concerns about the allegations and the need for reporting, noting the local media’s silence on this public interest issue, saying,
“..from these very public comments: bullying, intimidation, and potentially violence. This is not behavior becoming of an elected official at any level and it certainly does not bring credit on the United States House of Representatives. The second reason for this meeting; it needs to be reported. It needs to be reported across this district, across this state and across the nation. This is not behavior that we can stand for.
This story broke early Sunday morning, and as of 8 a.m. this morning, not a single local outlet has picked up the story. Since then -and that’s why I called this press conference- since then, I will say that the Nevada Globe and Megan Barth, they have picked up this story and they have run with it. And, I can tell you the Nevada Globe has been on this story since it began in March of earlier this year and I applaud their efforts for doing that. But, the silence from the rest of the outlets, is curious to me, eight days away from the election.
Nevada needs their journalists to get the truth out. Nevada needs journalism to do their jobs and their fundamental responsibility to inform the public with unbiased facts and information. And, I am calling on the media to do that.”
Peters then announces that he is sending a letter today to the House Committee on Ethics, to request an immediate investigation. Peters cites Rule 23 of the Code of Official Conduct, specifying paragraph one. Next, Peters calls on Horsford to resign, saying,
“I am also suggesting Mr. Horsford do what’s right for Nevada, and resign from this office immediately. If you do not have your own house in order, you cannot appropriately serve in high office with the respect that that office deserves. Our country and our state needs attention and Mr. Horsford has clearly shown that he does not have the capacity, nor the character to do what we need.”
Peters calls on the Las Vegas Review-Journal to qualify comments they published about Mr. Horsford, saying,
“Additionally, I am asking for the Las Vegas Review-Journal to qualify its comments in a recent endorsement article that Mr. Horsford had, quote, ‘gained the trust of his constituents’. I have never known a circumstance where bullying a spouse, showing violent tendencies towards women, and cheating on your wife for ten years, to inspire trust. And, just for the record, I am not asking for your endorsement. I am asking you to do your job.”
Peters closes by thanking his team for being dedicated to the truth and the people of Nevada’s fourth district, saying,
“We fully intend, now and when elected, to hold people in positions of great public responsibility to account.”
Peters allowed the media to ask questions following his statement. A member of the media questioned why Peters had made this an issue now. Peters explained,
“Well it’s not just over the weekend there was concerns back in March when the tweets from Ms. Douglass appeared, we have seen over time, it was back in May of 2021, I believe it was, when Mr. Horsford came out and admitted to the affair. You know, we are talking about an affair of ten years long here, that a sitting member of Congress admitted to.
And then, as it goes forward and the story develops, where he is asked by his family to not run for Congress and then apparently files without their knowledge which, you know, Ms. Douglass tweeted about after the filing period.
And now these, these allegations and specifically the allegations of bullying and intimidation and potentially violence. You know, any time you have a circumstance… I was a police officer for ten years; I’ve responded to numerous domestic disturbance-type situations, and I’m not saying that’s what this is, but when there are allegations that go on for this long there is something wrong and something needs to be fixed. And, we’re talking about someone who is serving in the House of Representatives, to represent 750,000 plus people in his district. This is not the character, this is not the behavior that we should expect from elected officials and we need to hold elected officials to a higher account and that’s what this is about. Mr. Horsford clearly won’t hold himself to that degree of responsibility, so I will.”
Peters is an Air Force Combat Veteran who was awarded a Bronze Star for gallantry in Afghanistan. When Peters spoke of his experience in law enforcement, he was speaking of his role as military police.
A reporter asked Peters,
“Just looking at the tweets there was one mention of violence, but it wasn’t really…”
“How many do you need to take it serious?”
The reporter continues,
“…in terms of the specifics of what that was referring to,”
“That’s why I’m calling for an investigation.”
The reporter asks,
“Have you at all been in contact with Mr. Horsford’s family…”
“Of course not, of course not,”
The reporter continues,
“…to at all find out about this?”
Peters elaborates, saying,
“Again, as I mentioned in my statement, my respect for the privacy of a marital relationship is high and I will respect that. I have not reached out to Ms. Douglass, I have no intention to, in fact, I publicly say to her right now I wish her and her family healing and respect through this whole process and I am going to do everything I can to honor her wish to remove Horsford from office.”
There is no recent polling available for this race. In summer the candidates were tied. There has been a recent poll that shows that 47 percent of Nevada’s voters believe they would be better off with a Republican Congress.