Nevada has long been the state of sin, a reputation solidified when Dennis Hof’s Bunny Ranch landed the much talked-about series Cathouse about the women in one of his multiple brothels. Now, Dennis is vying for another position of renown — the state’s Senate.
Those aspirations to enter the Nevada legislature are actually curbed from what Hof originally had his eye on — U.S. Congress. When Dennis began to look at the amount of fundraising he would need to enter a national race, he ultimately decided against it. Even with the profits from his Bunny Ranch mini-empire, Hof realized that outside interests would inevitably cloud his views if he had to beg for cash, he told Reno Gazette-Journal.
“You just can’t get the $5 million to $10 million without whoring yourself out and I’m not going to do that. There’s a lot of people willing to give me money, but there’s a payback. I’m not going to compromise my principles.”
While some with a negative view of sex work might balk at his talk of principles, Dennis’ platform might be more surprising to some than imagined. Hof will be running as a libertarian, espousing many beliefs on the right side of the spectrum, but also taking into account some of the prejudices he has faced when it comes to his choice of business.
“It’s kind of neat. I call myself a conservatarian. I feel like I’m a conservative guy even though I’m in a crazy business, but I like the libertarian values and what they stand for.”
Despite that enthusiasm, Dennis will still no doubt face heavy criticism from whoever opposes him in the race for being known as the Bunny Ranch owner. Prostitution was how Hof rose to notoriety, and it will be inextricable from his public persona during the campaign. In some ways, it could be beneficial: Dennis maintains the kind of pre-election recognition of someone like Donald Trump, not to mention an even better gimmick.
Still, the Bunny Ranch’s ability to hamper Hof’s grab for state Senate shouldn’t be underestimated either. A look through his Twitter account reveals not campaign promises or calls to political action, but photos of a New Year’s orgy and various pictures of his employees advertising their services through the social media site — complete with many of the shots containing full frontal nudity. It’s unlikely that such details will win him much sympathy with the religious right, or even many well-to-do conservatives.
— Dennis Hof (@DennisHof) January 9, 2016
— Dennis Hof (@DennisHof) January 2, 2016
NBC is here! pic.twitter.com/HpMGWv5VfY
— Dennis Hof (@DennisHof) January 10, 2016
In the desert state, most believe that prostitution is legal everywhere; but Hof and other sex-selling entrepreneurs actually have to keep their business outside of main city centers Reno and Las Vegas. Of course, that only accounts for the side of the business operating above the table — making the Bunny Ranch owner an honest pimp, and maybe even an honest politician.
In the meantime, you can always check out old episodes of Cathouse to see if you think Dennis Hof would run the state of Nevada as well as he runs the Bunny Ranch.
[Images via Alex Wong and Melissa Golden/Getty Images]