Late Love Ranch Brothel Owner Dennis Hof Wins Nevada State Assembly Race After Death

A Nevada brothel owner and reality TV star who died last month won a heavily Republican state legislative district Tuesday night.

Dennis Hof, who fashioned himself as a Donald Trump-style candidate, defeated Democratic educator Lesia Romanov in the race for Nevada's 36th Assembly District, The Associated Press reports. County officials will appoint a Republican to take his place in the seat.

Hof, 72, was found dead on Oct. 16 by adult film star Ron Jeremy after a weekend of parties celebrating Hof's birthday. Officials have still not determined a cause of death, although foul play is not suspected.

dennis-hoff_getty-Bobby Bank : Contributor
(Photo: Bobby Bank / Contributor, Getty)

Hof owned several brothels in Nevada, which is the only state that allows them to legally operate. He also 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.

Hof's Love Ranch brothel about an hour outside of Las Vegas, the same brothel where NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious in 2015, is where Jeremy and a prostitute found Hof's body. He had spent the four previous days partying with notables from the adult film industry and political world, like Jeremy and Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff who was convicted of criminal contempt of court but pardoned by Trump.

He ran for office in 2016 as a Libertarian but lost. This year, he ran as a Republican and earned backing from former Trump advisor Roger Stone and tax-cut activist Grover Norquist. This summer, he ousted an incumbent Republican lawmaker in a primary election, celebrating at an election night party with "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss.

He said he faced political retribution this year in the form of an anti-brothel push and regulatory problems. About 20 brothels operate in Nevada in mostly rural areas. They're banned in counties that contain Las Vegas and Reno, and the state does not publicize how many are open. Most owners keep a lower profile than Hof did.

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The seat Hof won, the 36th Assembly District seat, has long been a Republican-held seat. The assembly district is located in three counties — Clark, Lincoln and Nye — and touches both California and Utah and includes the Nevada National Security Site where nuclear weapons were once tested. Because the district is located in three counties, three candidates could potentially be identified to take his place before a final selection is determined.

Hof said earlier this year that Trump's 2016 victory helped inspire him to run for office this year.