In 2018, A Deceased Brothel Owner Accused Of Sexual Assault Won Republican Race
Among the more bizarre stories of the Trump era, Nevada pimp and Republican candidate for state legislature Dennis Hof secured an election night victory in 2018, despite having died the month before from what was determined to be a heart attack.
NBC News reported at the time that Hof, who took to calling himself the “Trump of Pahrump,” was projected to win Nevada’s heavily conservative 36th Assembly District in both life and death.
And indeed, the owner of several legal brothels in the state — including the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, which was featured in HBO’s “Cathouse” reality show — was able to best Democratic educator Lesia Romanov for the spot; however, due to Hof’s untimely death, a Republican replacement became necessary following the midterm elections. NBC reported in March that “Gregory Hafen II, the general manager of a local utility company, was then appointed to fill the seat.”
Hof’s unconventional business operations and lifestyle — which included at least two allegations of sexual assault — were not a turn-off for the area’s conservative evangelical voters.
Pastor Victor Fuentes told CNBC in 2018 that he “was willing to overlook Hof's history as a champion of the flesh trade and gave thanks for his victory.”
“We have politicians, they might speak good words, not sleep with prostitutes, be a good neighbor,” Fuentes explained. “But by their decisions, they have evil in their heart. Dennis Hof is not like that.”
Much like evangelical support for President Donald Trump, religious conservatives felt that Hof would protect religious rights and fight for other issues important to evangelicals — despite his otherwise worldly pursuits.
And also as with the president, conservative voters were apparently able to ignore accusations that Hof raped a prostitute at one of his brothels in 2005, as well as a second allegation that he sexually assaulted two sex workers in 2009 and 2011.
Hof was found dead by adult film star Ron Jeremy on October 16 after a weekend of celebrating his 72nd birthday, NBC reported. The Nye County Sheriff’s office said a final toxicology report “detected the presence of THC, the chemical in marijuana, and sildenafil, which can be used to treat erectile dysfunction.”