Late brothel owner wins Assembly seat; brothels to stay in Lyon

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PAHRUMP, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada brothel owner and reality TV star who died last month after fashioning himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate has won a heavily GOP state legislative district.

Photo: Dennis Hof / Twitter

Dennis Hof defeated Democratic educator Lesia Romanov on Tuesday in the race for Nevada's 36th Assembly District, which includes rural communities and large stretches of desert in the southern part of the state. County officials will appoint a Republican to take his place in the seat.

Hof was found dead Oct. 16 after a weekend of parties celebrating his 72nd birthday. Officials are still determining his cause of death, but they don't suspect foul play.

Hof owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate.

Hof starred in the HBO adult reality series "Cathouse" and wrote a book titled "The Art of the Pimp," akin to Trump's book "The Art of the Deal."

Click for Secretary of State results

Voters say brothels can stay in one northern Nevada county where recently deceased reality TV star-turned-political candidate Dennis Hof owned all four legal bordellos.

The Tuesday advisory vote came after Lyon County commissioners put the question to residents of the county of about 54,000 people east of the state capital, Carson City.

The campaign originated with claims that brothel workers are exploited. It was overshadowed by Hof's Oct. 16 death. His brothels in Lyon County remain open under a permit granted in 2011 to Suzette Cole.

Hof owned six legal brothels in Lyon and Nye counties. Prostitution is legal in seven rural counties. It is illegal Las Vegas and Reno.

Hof's Moonlite Bunny Ranch was featured in the HBO series "Cathouse." It opened in Lyon County in 1955.