Dennis Hof, the controversial Nevada brothel owner, died one month ago after a weekend of partying to celebrate his 72nd birthday. But that didn’t stop Nevada voters from electing the Republican to a seat on the state legislature on Election Day.
Hof remained on the ballot after he died on October 16 and on Tuesday defeated Democratic opponent Lesia Romanov, the Hill reported. The deeply red district came out in support of Hof to the tune of 68 percent, the report noted. At the time of Hof’s death, many local political experts said he would still have a good chance of winning the election given the district’s demographics.
Dennis Hof owned several brothels in Nevada, where prostitution is legal. As NBC News noted, the most famous was the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, which was featured in the HBO reality show Cathouse.
His passing was announced in October by his longtime lawyer Marc J. Randazza.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share this: Another Pirate King has fallen,” Randazza said in a statement via Twitter. “Rest in Slack, Dennis Hof. I am proud to have called you a client and a friend. Everyone who dies from this day forward will have a hell of a lot more fun on the other side.”
No cause of death was determined at the time of Dennis Hof’s passing, but authorities said they did not suspect foul play.
Dennis Hof is not the first candidate to win an election from the other side. One of the most famous cases was in Missouri in 2000, where voters elected the deceased Democratic Governor Mel Carnahan to the state’s Senate seat over Republican John Ashcroft. As the Independent noted, Carnahan was killed in a plane crash three weeks before Election Day but still earned the support of 50 percent of voters, giving him a narrow victory.
The race marked the first time that a Senate race had been won by a deceased candidate — defeating an incumbent, no less. Afterward, new Governor Roger Wilson elected Carnahan’s widow, 66-year-old Jean Carnahan, to the Senate term.
A Nevada brothel owner who died last month has won a heavily GOP state legislative district. https://t.co/WbVrSmEPV6
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 7, 2018
There may have been a strategic purpose to the voters who elected the deceased Dennis Hof in Nevada. If voters in Nevada elect a candidate who has passed away before the election, it is up to county officials to nominate another member of the same party to the seat. By voting for Hof, they were ensuring that a yet-to-be-determined Republican takes his seat instead of a Democrat.