Controversial Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof was elected to the Nevada Assembly last week despite the fact that he had died suddenly three weeks before polling day. State officials have now begun the process of choosing Hof’s replacement.
Dennis Hof: gone but not forgotten…
Famous primarily for his ownership of a string of legal brothels and his starring role in the HBO reality series “Cathouse,” Dennis Hof declared himself a “Trump Republican” in December 2016. He won the June Republican primary for Nevada Assembly District 36, located in the rural south of the state, and looked set to win the general election last week.
On October 16, just weeks before election day, Hof was found dead at his Love Ranch South brothel hours after celebrating his 72nd birthday with friends.
…and still on the ballot
Dennis Hof’s death occurred after the deadline for removing his name from the ballo. Although voters were warned he was no longer alive, they were not prevented from voting for the deceased candidate.
Polling stations were plastered with signs warning them of Hof’s inability to serve out his term, but District 36 voters still preferred him to the still living Democratic party candidate, Lesia Romanov.
The decision by the electorate to back Hof was not as bizarre as it at first seems. As in Washington State, where voters overwhelmingly returned Matt Manweller to the State House despite his promise to resign following a #MeToo scandal, Nevada law ensures replacement legislators come from the same party that won the most recent election. Voters knew if Hof won the election another Republican would replace him.
In fact, the Nevada GOP ran its own campaign following Hof’s death encouraging District 36 residents to vote for him anyway and ensure the seat stayed in Republican hands.
Nevada Republicans jostle for position
Elected officials from Nye, Lincoln and Clark counties will meet in early December to nominate a new Republican to take Hof’s seat in the Assembly. The deadline for applications is November 26th at noon.
Current front-runners include outgoing Republican Assemblyman James Oscarson, who had lost his seat to Hof in the primary, Nye County Republican chairman Joe Burdzinski, and local businessman Nathan Taylor.
After officials from each county have met separately they will meet together on December 7th to jointly decide Dennis Hof’s replacement.