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Dennis Hof, Nevada's most famous pimp, wins GOP primary

Associated Press logoAssociated Press 6/13/2018 By MICHELLE L. PRICE, Associated Press
FILE - In this June 13, 2016, file photo, Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, a legal brothel near Carson City, Nevada, is pictured during an interview in Oklahoma City. 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, June 12, 2018, 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.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this June 13, 2016, file photo, Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, a legal brothel near Carson City, Nevada, is pictured during an interview in Oklahoma City. 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, June 12, 2018, 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.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

LAS VEGAS — Pimp Dennis Hof, 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, Nevada, 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 decide on closing down brothels in at least one of the seven Nevada counties where they legally operate. The question will be on the ballot in Lyon County, where Hof owns four brothels. Activists are also gathering signatures to try to get a measure on the ballot in Nye County, where Hof owns two more brothels in the desert outside the city of Pahrump.

In this April 27, 2018, photo, owner Dennis Hof sits in front of the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nev. The most closely-watched race in Nevada's primary election Tuesday, June 12, is the battle for governor. One of those races in Nye County pits incumbent Assembly member James Oscarson of Pahrump against Hof, Nevada's most famous pimp. (AP Photo/John Locher) © The Associated Press In this April 27, 2018, photo, owner Dennis Hof sits in front of the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nev. The most closely-watched race in Nevada's primary election Tuesday, June 12, is the battle for governor. One of those races in Nye County pits incumbent Assembly member James Oscarson of Pahrump against Hof, Nevada's most famous pimp. (AP Photo/John Locher)

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.

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