Lyon County brothel owner Dennis Hof said Friday he will run for the state Senate seat being vacated by Greg Brower.
Hof made the announcement at a Libertarian Party press conference in Las Vegas. Hof is the owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch just east of the Carson City line.
Hof said he originally wanted to run for the U.S. Senate — a desire spawned by his ongoing battle with Harry Reid that started when Reid told Nevada lawmakers it was time to outlaw legal prostitution in 2011.
He said he shifted to the state Senate race because of dissatisfaction with the existing Legislature topped off when lawmakers and Gov. Brian Sandoval passed the largest tax package in Nevada history — including the commerce tax he said is the same thing voters rejected by nearly 80 percent in 2014.
“It’s time somebody stood up and said what’s going on here,” he said.
Hof said part of the problem is few people in the Nevada Senate actually run businesses.
In contrast, he said he grew his businesses from just two brothels in Lyon County to seven legal brothels, a strip club and a restaurant during the recession.
“I know how to run a business,” he said.
Hof said bringing Tesla and other major companies to Nevada is good but asked: “What about the small businessman?”
He said neither major party has been looking out for the interests of the working taxpayer.
“It was time to advocate for a new approach,” he said adding the Libertarian vision of a limited government is what he believes in the state’s best interest.
He said one thing that has to change is the minimal pay Nevada lawmakers get.
He said that makes them give in to special interests to get the money to run or limits the candidates who can run to those who are wealthy.
“How do you expect somebody to do the job without outside influences when they’re paid pocket change? I can afford it. I can do it without taking outside money or influences,” he said.
Hof will challenge Heidi Gansert, former Assembly minority leader and ex-chief of staff to Gov. Brian Sandoval who has already announced a bid to replace Republican Brower.
No Democrat has yet announced plans to run in Senate district 15, which represents most of the west side of Reno, where Hof lives.
At that same press conference, Assemblyman John Moore of Las Vegas announced he was leaving the Republican Party to join the Libertarians. At least until the November elections, that gives the Libertarians their first state office holder.