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Brothel owner Dennis Hof as seen at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch outside of Carson City on May 17, 2018. Photo by John Byrne

Republican James Oscarson says he’ll apply to fill the Pahrump-area Assembly seat that’s vacant because the winner of the race, brothel owner Dennis Hof, died three weeks ago.

Oscarson told The Nevada Independent he plans to submit his application on Thursday. He was first elected in 2012 and represented the district for three terms before losing an ugly primary against Hof this year.

“I really would like there to get back up in Carson City and finish the good work that we started,” he said.

Clark County — a portion of which is included in the multi-county district — issued a call for applications on Wednesday. Oscarson said he did not know for sure of any other candidates applying and does not plan to lobby for the seat but will meet with decision-makers if they’d like.

Hof died at age 72 at the Love Ranch South in Crystal. Because of the timing of his death, his name remained on the ballot in that district, and he handily defeated his Democratic opponent, school administrator and political newcomer Lesia Romanov, even though voters were notified at polling places that Hof was dead.

His post-mortem victory triggers a complicated procedure that will involve each County Commission in District 36 nominating a person to fill that seat. Then the chairmen of those commissions — representing Nye, Lincoln and Clark counties — will meet and cast votes proportional to the share of the population of the district in each district.

Republicans launched a campaign encouraging people to still vote for him and prevent the seat from falling into Democratic hands.

Hof ran a scathing primary against incumbent Oscarson, dubbing him “The Big Selloutski” and blasting him for voting in favor of a tax package in the 2015 legislative session. Oscarson lost to Hof by about six percentage points.


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