Brothel Boss Dennis Hof Wins GOP Primary Modeling Self on Trump

The flamboyant Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof, who starred in the HBO reality series Cathouse and made headlines when former NBA star Lamar Odom overdosed on drugs in one of his establishments, is now the Republican nominee for a state legislative seat.

Though the race was too close to call as of last night, according to the Las Vegas Sun, when all 72 precincts reported, the 71-year-old author of The Art of the Pimp had defeated three-term incumbent James Oscarson, a 61-year-old hospital executive, by fewer than 500 votes.

Oscarson appeared to concede the race at 11:21 p.m., texting Hof a one-word message, “Congratulations.”

But in Nevada’s small State Assembly District 36, that ended up giving Hof a relatively comfortable 42.8 percent to 36.5 percent margin. A third candidate, Joseph Bradley, took about 20 percent of the votes.

While Hof owns a half-dozen brothels in the only U.S. state in which prostitution is legal (under certain, regulated conditions), he told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he plans to divest himself of at least some of his brothel business to devote more of his attention to politics.

Hof and Oscarson are both residents of the small town of Pahrump, Nevada, and Hof challenged the incumbent for his seat in 2016, running as a Libertarian. But despite losing that election by a wide margin, Hof said that he was inspired by Trump’s election win that year to give politics another try. In the 2018 election, Hof has billed himself as “the Trump of Pahrump.”

“We’re both famous—and infamous. We’re both high-profile. We’re both celebrities,” Hof said in an interview earlier this year, comparing himself to Trump. “We’re both successful businessmen. We both have reality television shows. We both have written books. We’re both rich and we can’t be bought.”

But Hof’s conversion to Trumpism appears to be relatively recent. During the 2016 election campaign he openly opposed Trump and supported Hillary Clinton, organizing a group of sex workers to campaign for the Democratic nominee under the heading, “Hookers for Hillary.”

Nonetheless, Hof now cites Trump as his personal “Christopher Columbus,” who “found the way, and I jumped on it.”

Hof will square off against Democrat Lesia Romanov, an assistant school principal, on the November ballot, but in the heavily Republican 36th Assembly District, the brothel tycoon is expected to take an easy victory and assume the district’s state legislative seat.

Photo by Daniel Dacumos/Wikimedia Commons 

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