Ex-Rep. Harley Rouda’s wife Kaira writes novel about cheating congressman

Thankfully, she doesn’t write true crime books.

Novelist Kaira Rouda’s new book centers around a scheming wife who offs her congressman husband after she discovers he’s been having an affair with a young staffer. Rouda just happens to be married to an ex-congressman.

The plot of “The Widow” raised eyebrows among the staffers of then-Rep. Harley Rouda (D-California).

Harley “supports me with what I want to do. It was really his staff that got a little concerned,” recalled Kaira Rouda, who insists she’s been “happily married” to her man for 32 years.

Team Rouda ended up giving the OK to the book after a few minor tweaks were made.

“A couple of character names and descriptions the consultants felt were too close to home,” the author said.

Kaira Rouda, 59, said she was inspired to write the book — which is being released by publisher Thomas & Mercer in December — after spending time with her husband in Washington when he was elected to Congress in 2018.

“It opens up at the Library of Congress during an event there. It’s such a fascinating place, DC. It has glitz and a dark side. It was calling to me to be a setting for book,” said the writer of nine previous books.

In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Harley Rouda, Democratic congressional candidate in the 48th District, addresses supporters at his election night party in Newport Beach, Calif.
Rep. Harley Rouda only lasted for one term.
AP Photo/Kyusung Gong,File
Kaira Rouda’s novel involves a widow of a sitting congressman taking his seat.
Kaira Rouda’s novel involves a widow of a sitting congressman taking his seat.
Kaira Rouda, mystery and suspense author and wife of Harley Rouda, the former U.S. Representative for California's 48th congressional district, at her home in Laguna Beach on Monday, May 3, 2021
Rouda was inspired to write her crime novel after spending time in Washington, DC in 2018.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

The story tells the tale of Jody Asher, whose spot atop the pinnacle of DC power is threatened when a reporter threatens to expose her 15-term congressman husband’s affair.

A suspicious heart attack follows, as Jody seeks to cling onto her husband’s seat. The book title is an allusion to the “Widow’s Mandate” — a common US political practice in which wives often take up the jobs of their deceased husbands who held public office.

Rep. Rouda didn’t make it to 15 terms.

Harley Rouda, Democratic U.S. Representative candidate from California, right, smiles on stage with wife Kaira Rouda, center, during an election night rally in Newport Beach, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018
Rouda said her husband “supports me with what I want to do.”
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Kaira Rouda, mystery and suspense author and wife of Harley Rouda, the former U.S. Representative for California's 48th congressional district, at her home in Laguna Beach on Monday, May 3, 2021.
Some tweaks, like names, were made for the book.
Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
Former Rep. Harley Rouda
Harley Rouda defended his wife’s book, telling The Post he “loved,” it.
Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The freshman congressman — who made headlines for ousting longtime GOP stalwart Rep. Dana Rohrabacher — was himself kicked out by voters in 2020 who elected Republican Orange County supervisor Michelle Steel.

Both Roudas insisted the subject was not based in their personal circumstances.

“Kaira is vibrant, outgoing and the last person you would ever think to figure out ways to kill people,” Harley Rouda 60 told The Post, adding that he “loved” the book.

He added, “I haven’t bought any life insurance.”

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