A brothel owner wins an election in Nevada, painting himself as a thriving businessman who oversees dozens of employees … most of whom just happen to be prostitutes.
Lance Gilman is the owner of the Mustang Ranch in Nevada, and this fall ran for Storey County commissioner. As The Associated Press noted, Gilman will become the first brothel owner to win election since prostitution was legalized in the state in 1971.
“He’s in rare company,” said Nevada historian Guy Rocha. “Of course, it’s going to be rare because the business of selling sex for money is illegal in every jurisdiction in the United States except in rural Nevada.”
The brothel owner wins the election running as a “dye-in-the-wool Republican who loves American values.” He won with 62 percent of the vote in the county with close to 6,000 people.
Gilman, a 68-year-old father of four has nine grandchildren, is eager to share the economic impact of his business. He claims that the brothel he operates along Interstate 80 about 10 miles east of Reno contributed about $5 million to the county’s budget in the past decade. He employes 44 full-time employees and between 30 and 80 prostitutes.
The brothel owner said his election win was due to his entrepreneurial experience. In addition to the Mustang Ranch, he also owns a Harley-Davidson dealership and master planned communities in California and Nevada.
“People want to focus on the brothel issue … (but) I’ve had a wonderful 43-year record of business success that I bring to the commission,'” Gilman said.
As the Daily Mail noted, the Mustang Ranch actually became the first legal brothel under former owner Joe Conforte. It gained infamy in 1976 when heavyweight boxer Oscar Bonavena was murdered there.
Now that the brothel owner wins election, Nevada also has its own first — Lance Gilman, lawmaker/brothel owner.