Dennis Hof has hundreds of women selling sex within his legal brothels. But they work for Hof outside the brothel houses, too, joining him on the campaign trail. His lovely courtesans are knocking on doors, making phone calls, and acting as arm candy at political events.
But now his brothels, the basis of his fortune and success, are under attack. Local crusaders are demanding the end of legal prostitution in two Nevada counties, Nye and Lyon, which contain nearly half of the state’s 20 brothels.
What’s worse, local government doesn’t seem to be on Hof’s side, either. That’s why he’s running for office.
[Dennis Hof campaign billboard]
“What they’re trying to do is ruin Nevada,” Hof tells Rooster. “Nevada is run on the freedom to gamble, to carry a gun, to drink 24 hours a day, to smoke weed, to visit a brothel. My opponent is trying to shut down the brothel industry that infuses $10 milion into the economy.”
Hof is running for Nevada Assembly District 36, which contains Nye county and part of Lincoln county. He’s run for this seat once before — in 2016 as a libertarian — and lost. This time, he’s running as a republican, using Trump as a model.
“They call me the Trump of Pahrump,” Hof says, referring to a town in Nye County. “We’re both celebrities, we both like girls, we both have reality TV shows, we both have books, we’re both rich and we can’t be bought.”
[Dennis Hof campaign billboard]
Hof has also built a brand off his own name and image. Driving through Nevada, it’s almost impossible not to see Hof’s face smiling down from a dozen billboards. He’s wearing a cowboy hat or promising to fight for your guns.
“I never waver on the second amendment,” Hof promises. “In fact, I’m carrying a gun right now.”
Also much like Trump, Hof doesn’t seem to fit the mold of the republican party’s moralistic ideals. Hof is infamous. For decades, he’s been making headlines in scandal after scandal.
“I’ve been accused of doing everything except for sinking the Titanic and the Chicago Fire,” he says. “Underage girls, drug sales, molestation, you name it.” Hof refers to allegations that he’s assaulted his workers. Coincidentally, Hof’s opposition has also faced accusations of sexual misconduct.
[Attack ad against Hof]
Kourtney Chase, a sex worker at the Love Ranch brothel, defends Hof. Chase had been working at a competing brothel — until she got pregnant — and the brothel told her pregnant women weren’t allowed to work there. Hof didn’t care. He hired her without question.
“I’m grateful that Dennis gave me a place to work when I was pregnant — when everyone else said no,” Chase tells Rooster. “A lot of people think he’s an evil pimp, but he does a lot for his girls. He gets way more of a bad rap than he deserves.”
Chase is extremely supportive of Hof’s run for office. She and another Love Ranch girl recently accompanied him at a campaign event. Afterwards, Hof bought them dinner and took them to the rodeo.
[Chase and Hof at a recent campaign event]
“He’s running for office because the county commissioners are trying to shut him down. It’s like they’re the moral police. They want to get rid of all the brothels and porn sets and strip clubs. But what they’re doing isn’t right,” Chase says.
She mentions how the county shut down the Love Ranch for two weeks, claiming the building was a fire hazard. She mentions how the county commissioners are in cahoots with the No Little Girl activist group, which is trying to outlaw prostitution in Lyon and Nye counties.
“The whole state is messing with him,” Chase says. “But running for office gives him the power to give us a voice.” In an age when sex workers are being endlessly silenced, that’s more meaningful than ever.