Celebrity pimp pulls a Trump, wins Republican primaries in Nevada
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Pimp Dennis Hof, the owner of half a dozen legal brothels in Nevada and star of the HBO adult reality series Cathouse, won a Republican primary for the state Legislature on Tuesday, ousting a three-term lawmaker.
Hof defeated hospital executive James Oscarson. He'll face Democrat Lesia Romanov in November, and will be the favored candidate in the Republican-leaning Assembly district.
Hof celebrated his win at a party in Pahrump with Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss at his side.
"It's all because Donald Trump was the Christopher Columbus for me," Hof told the Associated Press in a phone call. "He found the way and I jumped on it."
Hof, who wrote a book titled "The Art of the Pimp," has dubbed himself "The Trump of Pahrump," and held a rally with longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone. Hof was in the limelight in 2015, when former NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious at Hof's Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nevada, after a four-day, $75,000 stay.
If Hof wins in November, he wouldn't be the only brothel owner in elected office — Lance Gilman, the owner of the famous Mustang Ranch in northern Nevada, is a Storey County Commissioner.
Voters in November will be voting on closing down brothels at least one of the seven Nevada counties where they're legally operating. The question will be on the ballot in Lyon County, where Hof owns four brothels. Activists are also gathering signatures to try to get to get measure on the ballot in Nye County, where Hof owns two more brothels in the desert outside the city of Pahrump.
He painted the anti-brothel efforts as political retribution that's tied to his opponent, but Oscarson and the referendum backers deny any connection.
Most brothels operate in rural areas of Nevada. They're banned in the counties that contain Las Vegas and Reno.
Hof said Tuesday he's downsizing his business by selling off some brothels to focus more on politics.
Oscarson and Hof previously faced off in 2016 when Hof ran for the seat as a Libertarian. Oscarson won with 60 percent of the vote.—MICHELLE L. PRICE, AP