Dennis Hof, Nevada brothel owner and assembly candidate, died of heart attack

He remained on the ballot for state Assembly after his death and won in the November election. Another Republican was appointed.
Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch
Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, in Carson City, Nevada, in 2013.David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

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By Phil Helsel

Nevada brothel owner Dennis Hof, who died in October but who was still elected posthumously in a state Assembly seat race, died of a heart attack, an autopsy released Thursday said.

Hof, 72, was found dead at the Love Ranch in Crystal, Nevada, just north of Pahrump, on Oct. 16.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office released the results of his autopsy, which listed his cause of death as "acute myocardial infarction" or a heart attack, and the manner of death was determined as natural.

The heart attack was due to cardiovascular disease, and other significant conditions listed were diabetes and obesity.

Hof owned several legal brothels in the Silver State, including the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, featured in the HBO reality show and documentary about the sex industry, "Cathouse."

Hof was running as a Republican for a state Assembly seat and had called himself the "Trump of Pahrump." He had defeated three-term Republican lawmaker James Oscarson in the primary of that year.

Despite his death, Hof remained on the ticket for the race for Nevada's 36th Assembly District, and he won the heavily GOP area in November, defeating Democratic educator Lesia Romanov.

Gregory Hafen II, the general manager of a local utility company, was then appointed to fill the seat, the Associated Press reported.

Nye County Sheriff's Sgt. Adam Tippetts said in a video statement that final toxicology results were received last week. It detected the presence of THC, the chemical in marijuana, and sildenafil, which can be used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Hof was found dead after a weekend of celebrating his 72nd birthday. Guests included porn actor Ron Jeremy, "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss, former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio and a mix of local politicians and friends.

Associated Press contributed.