There are many ways to win an election: knocking on doors, putting together TV ads and good old-fashioned ballot stuffing come to mind. But dying? There’s got to be an easier way to win over voters, surely.
And yet, one Republican in Nevada won a race for State Assembly District 36 last night – and it’s thought that his death a month ago actually helped him to win by a landslide.
Dennis Hof, who ran the Moonlite BunnyRanch brothel in a state where prostitution is permitted, made a name for himself by starring in the HBO documentary series Cathouse and with multiple appearances on the Howard Stern Show.
The 72-year-old, who also faced multiple rape allegations, managed to secure the Republican nomination by promising to take a hard line on immigration and promising to expand gun rights. But the controversial figure died less than a month ago at the Love Ranch South, following a party for his 72nd birthday. Police did not suspect foul play at the time of his death, and no one who was with him the night before noticed any signs of ill health.
However, because of the timing of his death, his name remained on the ballot and he stormed to victory with nearly 70%.
According to the Nevada Independent, “signs were posted at polling places to inform voters in the district that Hof had died, but Republicans launched a campaign encouraging people to still vote for him and prevent the seat from falling into Democratic hands.”
Hof’s own campaign manager predicted that the brothel owner’s death would boost his chances of success.
“There are a lot of Republicans who were uncomfortable voting for Dennis because of the nature of his business, and they now know that he is not the one who will be serving,” the campaign manager, Chuck Muth, told Reuters. “They will feel much more comfortable casting the ballot for him knowing there will be another Republican to replace him.”
Impressively, this isn’t the first time a dead guy has won an election in America. In the 2000 United States Senate election in Missouri, for example, incumbent John Ashcroft lost the election to Mel Carnahan, despite the latter’s death three weeks before election day.
As Elvis and Michael Jackson’s posthumous sales will attest to: Death, it’s a very good career move.
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