Mayor Gavin Newsom’s campaign manager resigned after confronting Newsom about an affair the mayor had with the aide’s wife, the San Francisco Chronicle reported in Thursday’s editions.
Alex Tourk, 39, served as Newsom’s deputy chief of staff until September, when he became manager of the re-election campaign.
After his wife told him about the affair, Tourk approached the mayor about it, then resigned, people with direct knowledge of Wednesday’s meeting told the Chronicle. They spoke on condition they not be identified.
Tourk did not immediately return phone calls and e-mails seeking comment by The Associated Press.
The mayor’s office issued a statement announcing Tourk’s resignation, citing only unspecified personal reasons.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Newsom campaigns and the city of San Francisco and its residents,” Tourk said in the statement.
Newsom, 39, who is seeking a second four-year term in November, said in the statement that he accepted Tourk’s resignation “with great sadness,” adding that he was “an extraordinary leader of our campaigns and a tireless public servant.”
Eric Jaye, Newsom’s senior campaign strategist, would neither confirm nor deny the Chronicle’s report.
Tourk “resigned for personal reasons. Personal means personal to us and we are respecting that,” Jaye said.
“The mayor is focused on his job as mayor. That is where his attention is right now, not on this,” Jaye told the AP, adding that he was referring to “press fascination with issues that Alex Tourk said himself is a personal reason.”
Newsom’s spokesman, Peter Ragone, declined to comment.
The Chronicle said Ruby Rippey-Tourk, 34, told her husband that the affair was short-lived and happened about 1½ years ago, when she worked as the mayor’s appointments secretary. At the time, Newsom was in divorce proceedings with his then-wife, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle.
Rippey-Tourk, who left the mayor’s office last spring and is now a local radio host, did not return the Chronicle’s calls for comment, the newspaper said.