In June, Reuters ran a piece in which they spoke to evangelical Nevada voters, asking them how they managed to reconcile their religious views with their support for Dennis Hof. Hof, you see, was a notorious brothel owner — a man who described himself by saying: “I’m kind of rich, I’m kind of famous, and I’m surrounded by hot chicks.“
A big obstacle to garnering their support in the race for Nevada State Assembly District 36 was his support for Nevada’s legal brothel industry, something a lot of evangelicals have been trying to shut down. As called by The Nevada Independent, not only has he overcome that obstacle, he’s overcome an even bigger one: he died nearly a month ago. Hof passed away in his sleep following a party held on October 16 for his 72nd birthday. He was found to be unresponsive by his long-time friend Ron Jeremy. Yep, that Ron Jeremy.
Under Nevada law, his name remained on the ballot, although signs were put up at polling stations telling people that Hof had passed away:
Nevada Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley says ballots with Dennis Hof's name have already been printed and mailed to voters but signs would be posted at polling places notifying voters that the candidate has died.— Arthur Howard (@howardart) November 7, 2018
Chair of the political science department at the University of Nevada told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that, in all likelihood, his death actually increased the likelihood that he would be elected. While this might seem somewhat paradoxical, it’s because his vacant seat effectively turns into a placeholder for the Republican party, allowing GOP voters who were turned-off by Hof specifically to still comfortably vote. Republicans even specifically ran a campaign encouraging people to still vote for Hof, to prevent the district from going Democrat.
His win will be followed by a pretty complex process where the County Commissions of District 36 nominate a replacement, with the chairmen of those County Commissions voting on those nominees. The kicker is that the nominees put forth must be of the same party as the deceased person, making it a shoo-in for the Republicans.
In a similar incident, a man called DumpOzzie Dot Com (formerly Scott Maclay) has remained on the ballot for the election race for Sheriff of Spokane County, Washington this month, despite passing away in a motorcycle accident in September.