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Legal pimp wins race to be Republican candidate for Nevada

Brothel owner inspired by Trump success turns to politics

The owner of half a dozen legal brothels and star of TV reality series Cathouse has won a race to be chosen as the Republican candidate for a Nevada state assembly seat, ousting a three-term legislator.

Legal pimp Dennis Hof defeated hospital executive James Oscarson, and will face Democrat Lesia Romanov in November. He will be the favourite in the Republican-leaning district.

Mr Hof celebrated his win at a party in the town of Pahrump with notorious Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss at his side.

"It's all because Donald Trump was the Christopher Columbus for me," he said. "He found the way and I jumped on it."

Mr Hof, who wrote a book titled The Art Of The Pimp, has dubbed himself "the Trump of Pahrump", and held a rally with long-time Trump adviser Roger Stone.

Mr Hof hit the headlines in 2015 when former basketball star Lamar Odom was found unconscious at his Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nevada, after a four-day, $75,000 stay.

If Mr Hof wins in November, he would not 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.

In November, the electorate will be voting on closing down brothels in at least one of the seven Nevada counties where they are operating legally.

The question will be on the ballot in Lyon County, where Mr Hof owns four brothels.

Activists are also gathering signatures to try to get to get measure on the ballot in Nye County, where Mr Hof owns two more brothels in the desert outside Pahrump.

He painted the anti-brothel efforts as political retribution tied to his opponent, but Mr Oscarson and the referendum backers deny any connection.

Most brothels operate in rural areas of Nevada. They are banned in the counties that contain Las Vegas and Reno.

Mr Hof said he is downsizing his business by selling off some brothels to focus more on politics.

Mr Oscarson and Mr Hof previously faced off in 2016 when Mr Hof ran for the seat as a Libertarian. Mr Oscarson won with 60% of the vote.

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