Dead pro-Trump pimp still manages to win election in Nevada

Marcus Gilmer

Proving the old adage that America is the land of opportunity where anything can happen, Dennis Hof, a Trump-loving brothel owner, won his race for Nevada state legislature on Tuesday night — despite the fact that he's been dead for three weeks. 

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Hof opened up a big lead on his Democratic opponent, Lesia Romanov, on Tuesday and was ultimately declared the winner.

Hof was famous as the owner of Nevada's Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel and was also a star of HBO's reality TV show Cathouse, which centered on the Bunny Ranch. He was a vocal supporter of Trump's, even using the title of his memoir, The Art of the Pimp, to pay homage to Trump's famous tome, The Art of the Deal

Hof died in mid-October after several days of reported partying in celebration of his 72nd birthday. His body was discovered by legendary adult film star Ron Jeremy. 

By that point, though, it was too late to remove Hof from the ballot and state law dictates that a victorious dead candidate be replaced by someone selected by the winning party, meaning voters would essentially be choosing between Romanov and a Republican to be named later. His victory wasn't a total surprise, as the district has been reliably conservative for many cycles, meaning just about any Republican — even a dead one — was going to win.

Ironically, Hof lost in a race for the same position running as a Libertarian in 2016. 

Calling himself the "Trump of Pahrump," Hof embraced the president as something of a spiritual model for his 2018 run, telling CNN in June, "I'm riding the Trump wave. He's Christopher Columbus." (This even though Hof was behind the cringe-worthy publicity stunt "Hookers for Hillary" in 2016.) 

He ran on a platform that was heavy on gun rights and lower taxes and sought to ban sanctuary cities in Nevada, earning the support of Roger Stone and Grover Norquist along the way. He even borrowed the spirit of Trump's "MAGA" slogan for his own, "Make Nevada Nevada Again."

Such a wild story of course inspired a lot of head-scratching and chuckles throughout election night. 

Hof's replacement, who will be chosen before the start of the next State Assembly session on February 4, 2019, will be a little complicated. The commissions in the three counties represented by the district will each select a candidate and then all three commissions will gather to select the replacement from that group.

But Hof and his story will live on in our hearts forever.