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Nevada brothel owner, Assembly candidate Dennis Hof dead at 72

Updated October 17, 2018 - 12:16 pm

Nevada State Assembly District 36 candidate and self-described “pimp,” Dennis Hof, 72, has died.

“Dennis died quietly in his sleep,” campaign manager Chuck Muth said Tuesday on Twitter.

Hof died just hours after celebrating his 72nd birthday Monday at the Pahrump Nugget with a “Make Nevada Great Again,” rally and birthday bash, along with former Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and American political advocate Grover Norquist, the evening just prior to his death.

At the party, adult film star Ron Jeremy was providing entertainment, playing “Happy Birthday” on the harmonica and Fox News host called in to say “hi” to the standing-room-only crowd, Muth said Monday evening on Twitter.

At 11:37 a.m. Tuesday, Muth announced Hof’s death. “I just confirmed with Nye County Sheriff’s deputies that Dennis Hof passed away this morning,” Muth wrote on Twitter.

Muth tweeted later: “Ron Jeremy found him this morning when he went to wake him to go to a meetingin Pahrump.”

Muth added Tuesday afternoon: “No cause of death has been determined, but no foul play is suspected.”

The 911 call

Hof, who had referred to himself during his campaign as the “Trump of Pahrump,” had been scheduled to make a campaign appearance at the Pahrump Senior Center late Tuesday morning.

Nye County Sheriff’s Office Lt. David Boruchowitz said Nye County emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from Hof’s Love Ranch in Crystal, Nevada, roughly 25 miles from the town of Pahrump, around 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, Oct. 16.

“We responded for a report of an unresponsive male late this morning,” Boruchowitz said at the scene. “Upon arrival, we located Dennis Hof, who was confirmed deceased. At this time, we have nothing to indicate any kind of foul play, however, it’s still a preliminary investigation that’s just starting. We have deputies and detectives on scene, and as soon as we have more information, we will be releasing it.”

Hof, a Republican, was also the proprietor of several brothels in southern and northern Nevada, including the world-famous Moonlite Bunny Ranch Brothel, near Carson City. In 2016, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Nevada State Legislature, as a Libertarian.

This year, running as a Republican, he defeated District 36 Assembly incumbent James Oscarson, during the June primary election and was on course to take on his Democratic opponent, Lesia Romanov, in the Nov. 6 general election.

“This is not anything that I would have ever guessed would happen,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal early Tuesday. “My heart goes out to those who care about him. Just a crazy turn of events. Wow. All I can say is wow.”

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a brief statement. “Governor Sandoval extends his condolences to Mr. Hof’s family and friends,” it read.

The Assembly Republican Caucus issued a statement on Hof’s passing. “The Assembly Republican Caucus was saddened to hear of the passing of Dennis Hof this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this challenging time.”

Hof, the best-selling author of his autobiography “The Art of the Pimp,” first arrived in Nevada from Arizona in the mid-seventies, where he operated gas stations before venturing into the brothel business back in 1992, a 2015 story in the Pahrump Valley Times stated.

A September 2018 story in the Pahrump Valley Times stated that the Nevada Department of Public Safety was investigating Hof over sexual assault allegations raised by former prostitutes. Hof denied the allegations.

Arrangements have not been announced.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

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