Add your punch line: Nevada brothel owner wins GOP legislative primary

Perhaps character really is dead in American politics, but we kind of knew that in the 2016 cycle, right? Dennis Hof certainly did. The most celebrated pimp in America — the only one with his own HBO series — won a Republican primary in Nevada yesterday, and guess who he credits with his victory?

Actually, there are only two possibilities, and either of them would suffice:

Pimp Dennis Hof, the owner of half a dozen legal brothels in Nevada and star of the HBO adult reality series “Cathouse,” won a Republican primary for the state Legislature on Tuesday, ousting a three-term lawmaker.

Hof defeated hospital executive James Oscarson. He’ll face Democrat Lesia Romanov in November, and will be the favored candidate in the Republican-leaning Assembly district.

Hof celebrated his win at a party in Pahrump with Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss at his side.

“It’s all because Donald Trump was the Christopher Columbus for me,” Hof told the Associated Press in a phone call. “He found the way and I jumped on it.”

It’s only a seat in the state legislature, but don’t sell Hof short. His win in the GOP primary puts him in good position to win in November in a Republican-leaning Nevada district, and after that, who knows? He can always run on the argument that the Beltway is nothing more than a brothel that needs an experienced pimp to manage it properly. Beats “drain the swamp,” I guess.

Hof’s ambitions probably don’t run that high, though. He’s mainly running to keep prostitution legal in the counties where his brothels operate. At least one county will have a measure on the November ballot that could shut down one or more of his, er, customer-service centers. Hof wants to rally support for legalized prostitution with his campaign, which may be why he switched from Libertarian to Republican in this cycle; he lost to Oscarson by a wide margin as a Libertarian in a previous cycle. If the district was more Democrat-leaning, he would have run for their nomination instead. Winning the seat will give Hof more clout to protect his businesses, which is really the extent of Hof’s ideology.

Still, it does seem curious that Hof has met with this much success in the #MeToo era after having built a fortune on the backs of women. Just how far can Hof go? Depends on how shameless he is … and how many options voters have, for that matter.