Dead brothel owner wins election for Nevada legislative seat
Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2018 10:49AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 7, 2018 1:12PM EST
LAS VEGAS -- Nevada brothel owner and reality TV star Dennis Hof died last month but still won a heavily GOP state legislative district after fashioning himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate.
County officials will appoint a Republican to take Hof's place in the state Assembly. He was found dead Oct. 16 after a weekend of parties celebrating his 72nd birthday. Officials are still determining his cause of death, but they don't suspect foul play.
He beat Democratic educator Lesia Romanov for Nevada's 36th Assembly District, which includes rural communities and large stretches of desert in the southern part of the state.
Hof owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate. He starred in the HBO adult reality series "Cathouse" and wrote a book titled "The Art of the Pimp," akin to Trump's book "The Art of the Deal."
Porn actor Ron Jeremy and a prostitute discovered Hof dead at Hof's Love Ranch brothel about an hour outside Las Vegas. He had spent the four previous days partying with notables from the sex industry and political world. The brothel is where NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious in 2015.
About 20 brothels operate in Nevada, mostly in rural areas. They are banned in the counties that contain Las Vegas and Reno. The state doesn't publicize how many are open, and most owners keep a much lower profile than Hof did.
Hof ran for office in 2016 as a Libertarian but lost the race. This year, he ran as a Republican and earned backing from Trump associate Roger Stone and tax-cut activist Grover Norquist.
He upended Nevada politics this summer when he ousted an incumbent Republican lawmaker in a primary, celebrating at an election night party with "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss.
He said an anti-brothel push and regulatory problems he faced this year were political retribution.
Nevada's 36th Assembly District has long been a Republican-held seat. The sprawling district touches both California and Utah and includes the Nevada National Security Site where nuclear weapons were once tested.