Determined Republicans In Nevada Elect Dead GOP Candidate Over Live Democratic Opponent

Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Some Nevada voters’ dislike of Democrats is so intense that they’d rather elect a dead Republican than let a Democrat be elected.

In Nevada’s 36th Assembly District on Tuesday, a long-standing GOP district, the voters elected Dennis Hof, who owned various brothels in the state, to represent them in the state assembly, rather than Democratic educator Lesia Romanov.

Hof died on October 16 just after celebrating his 72nd birthday for four days. His body was found at his own Love Ranch brothel by porn actor Ron Jeremy and a prostitute. Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly, who also serves as the county’s coroner, said she had seen Hof at his birthday party the night before at a local casino-hotel reception room with over 100 of his friends. She added, “He was sitting on a stool talking with people when I left about 10. I guess that’s partying at 72.” Wehrly said there was no preliminary indication of foul play; an autopsy was scheduled to be done.

In 2016, Hof unsuccessfully ran for the same elective office as a Libertarian against hospital executive James Oscarson. In June, in a rematch, Hof defeated Oscarson in the primary, then celebrated with "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss. He stated, “It’s a bad day for the establishment. They’re not having fun today. They used every dirty trick they could to keep me out of office. This race was not about me being the brothel baron. It was about taxes and how my opponent raised taxes 29 out of 32 times. That’s why he got fired. When I came to the Republican party, I said to Michael McDonald, the head of the Republican party, ‘I’m your RINO hunter. I will be hunting these RINOs.’ We got the biggest prize of them all.”

Hof started his career as a brothel owner by buying The Moonlite BunnyRanch in 1992, then purchased another brothel, Kitty's, and renamed it The Love Ranch North. He followed by buying two more brothels; the Cherry Patch, which he renamed the Love Ranch Vegas, and the Cherry Patch II, which he renamed the Alien Cathouse. He was president of the Nevada Brothel Owners Association.

Hof appeared on various talk shows and television shows, including shows hosted by Oprah Winfrey, Howard Stern, and shows such as The Today Show and The View. He said he had been asked to speak at Oxford University and Trinity College, Dublin.

Another brothel owner already holds elective office in Nevada; Lance Gilman, the owner of the Mustang Ranch in northern Nevada, is a Storey County Commissioner. He was the first owner of a brothel to win election to public office in Nevada since prostitution was legalized there in 1971, according to Nevada historian Guy Rocha.

After his book was published, Hof said, "There are so many interesting subjects with brothels — the psychology of it, or maybe a business book. Maybe I'll have the girls participate, do something (to raise money) for animals … On my tombstone I want, 'Best friend, fought sex trafficking and world's greatest salesman.’"

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