Now that the dust has settled and James Oscarson won the Republican nomination for Nevada State Assembly District 36, his opponent in November’s general election, famed brothel owner Dennis Hof, is ready to challenge the incumbent.
Oscarson, a two-term assemblyman, eked out a win over Tina Trenner in Tuesday’s primary election, besting her by just 133 votes overall, despite outspending her by $120,709 during their campaigns.
Trenner took the vote in Nye County as she received 1,586 votes (49.98 percent) to Oscarson’s 1,348 votes (42.48 percent) and Hof sees that as a sign that the voters are ready for a change.
“I think that the public has shown they want him out because he voted to raise taxes,” said Hof, who is running as a Libertarian. “He lied to us, he told Ed Goedhart, he told me, he told everybody, ‘I won’t raise taxes.’ Then he voted for the largest tax increase in Nevada history, the commerce tax.”
The package Hof mentioned is Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.4 billion package of new and extended taxes, including a business gross receipts “commerce tax” imposed on revenue of $4 million or more. Oscarson was one of 13 Republican members to vote for the bill.
With the primary race being so close, Hof believes that the voters that went against Oscarson this week will follow suit in November in his favor, along with members of the other political parties.
“It’s a whole ’nother ball game now. Nearly half the Republicans voted for Trenner and those half are going to vote for me,” Hof said. “So I’m going to get nearly half of the Republican votes, I’m going to get all the Libertarian votes and I’m going to get all the Democratic votes.”
Before the primary election Hof said he and Trenner came to a mutual backing agreement.
“I told her that I would support her if she won and that I would back out of the race, because our job is to fire James Oscarson,” Hof said. “Also, she committed to supporting me if she lost. Ed Goedhart is supporting me, Jim Marsh is supporting me, and Trenner is supporting me, because they don’t want James Oscarson in office at all.”
Trenner said that she is behind Hof and would be with anyone who was opposing Oscarson.
“Anybody but the tax monster,” Trenner said.
Besides the tax issue, Hof believes his history in the business world will give him an advantage over Oscarson in their race.
“I’m a businessman, I get it,” he said. “Running the state of Nevada is no different than running my multiple businesses, gift shops, gas stations, brothels, restaurants. It’s just more zeros at the end. I know how to run a business, James doesn’t.
“James knows how to take special interest money, he’s real good at it. I’m supporting real Nevada, not rural Nevada, real Nevada and they get my message. I am one of them.”
Trenner said that Hof stands a solid chance against Oscarson, as she said she likely could have taken the nomination if it wasn’t for the vast difference in campaign spending.
“I just didn’t have enough money to reach enough people,” she said. “I would think Hof does
With just over five months left until the general election in November, Hof said he is gearing up his campaign.
“We’re putting it all together right now, we’re getting the billboards and billboard trucks ready, the mailouts,” Hof said. “We are getting ready to go.
“Bottom line is, Oscarson needs to go.”
Contact reporter Mick Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.