Dead brothel owner and reality star wins Nevada assembly race
Yesterday Americans voted in the 2018 midterm elections, hoping to create either a "blue wave" of Democratic wins or a "red wave" of Republican wins. The results were more like a purple wave. After record-breaking voter turnout across the country, the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives (as expected), and Republican retained control of the Senate (as expected). Yay! We all win!
As always, there were some surprises. In Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress. In Texas, Democratic wonderboy Beto O'Rourke narrowly lost to Republican blobfish Ted Cruz. And in Nevada, Dennis Hof, a dead brothel owner and reality TV star, won the assembly race.
Dennis Hof owned seven brothels in Nevada, where prostitution is legal on a county-by-county basis. His establishments include The Love Ranch, where Lamar Odom famously overdosed, and the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, which was featured on the HBO reality series Cathouse. The show documented the lives of the workers and showed sexual activity with customers. Hof also starred in the series, describing himself as a pimp and saying "there's no business like ho business."
Last month, Hof was found dead after celebrating his 72nd birthday with a weekend-long bash at one of his ranches. Authorities are still investigating the cause of death, but do not suspect foul play. Before he passed away, he defeated the three-time Republican incumbent in Nevada's State Assembly in the primary election. Hof styled himself as a Trumpian anti-establishment Republican candidate - or, as consultant Roger Stone dubbed him, "Trump from Pahrump." (Pahrump is an unincorporated town in Nevada.) In 2015, Hof even wrote a book called The Art of the Pimp, a play on Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal.
However, being dead didn't stop "Trump from Pahrump" from winning the election for Nevada's 36th Assembly District. According to the Nevada Secretary of State's office, Dennis Hof, who ran as a Republican, defeated Democratic educator Lesia Romanov by more than 7,000 votes. The district includes rural communities in the southern portion of Nevada, and heavily favors GOP candidates. Since Hof is unable to fill his seat, county officials will pick another Republican who lives in the district to take his place, as dictated by state law.
In one of his last interviews, Hof credited Trump for his surprising victory in the Republican primary. "Donald Trump, he's the pioneer. He's led the way. I call him the Christopher Columbus," the showman told NPR. "Dennis Hof is the Trump of Pahrump. He's rich, he's famous, he's got nerves of steel. He likes hot girls." Evidently that message spoke to the voters of his district.
On Twitter, one person was amused by Hof's posthumous victory, reflecting that America is "truly the land of opportunity." Another saw the victory as a sad example of how polarized the country has become: "Conservatives would rather vote for a dead pimp than a Democrat."