Nevada pimp who starred in HBO series found dead

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dennis Hof, a legal pimp who gained notoriety for an HBO series about his business and who has fashioned himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate for the state Legislature, has died, Nevada authorities said Tuesday.

An employee at Hof's Love Ranch brothel about an hour outside of Las Vegas summoned authorities a little before 11 a.m. Tuesday after Hof was found unresponsive and not breathing, said Nye County Sheriff Lt. David Boruchowitz.

He declined to say where on the property Hof was found, and said people at the business were being questioned.

"Preliminarily, there is no indication of foul play," Boruchowitz said.

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Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch
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Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch
EDISON, NJ - NOVEMBER 13: Dennis Hof owner of the 'Moonlite Bunny Ranch' attends Exxotica Day 1 at New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center on November 13, 2015 in Edison, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) TV Personality and owner of Moonlite BunnyRanch, Dennis Hof visits the SiriusXM Studios on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Adult film star Ron Jeremy and owner of Moonlite BunnyRanch, Dennis Hof visit the SiriusXM Studios on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Owner of Moonlite BunnyRanch, Dennis Hof and tv personality Perez Hilton visit the SiriusXM Studios on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 23: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) TV Personality Krissy Summers and owner of Moonlite BunnyRanch, Dennis Hof visit the SiriusXM Studios on March 23, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
CRYSTAL, NV - OCTOBER 14: Lawanna, shift manager stands in a bredroom at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch October 14, 2015 in Crystal, Nevada. NBA star Lamar Odom was found unconscious at the brothel. Richard Hunter, media assistant to Dennis Hof's Love Ranch, tended to Odom and called 911.(Photo by Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
CRYSTAL, NV - OCTOBER 14: Lawanna, shift manager stands inside a room at Dennis Hof's Love Ranch October 14, 2015 in Crystal, Nevada. NBA star Lamar Odom was found unconscious at the brothel. Richard Hunter, media assistant to Dennis Hof's Love Ranch, tended to Odom and called 911.(Photo by Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
CRYSTAL, NV - OCTOBER 14: Signs for Dennis Hof's Love Ranch Las Vegas brothel are shown on October 14, 2015 in Crystal, Nevada. Former NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious during a visit at the brothel and has been hospitalized at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Dennis Hof arrives at The 7th Annual TOSCARS Awards Show at the Egyptian Theatre on February 26, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Ron Jeremy (L), Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof (C) and Joey Buttafuoco (R) attend the 7th Annual Toscars Awards Show at the Egyptian Theatre on February 26, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Paul Redmond/WireImage)
Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, speaks during an interview inside the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Mound House, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Growing use of the Internet to arrange liaisons with prostitutes and decreased patronage by truckers squeezed by rising fuel costs are also hurting houses of prostitution that took root during Nevada's mid-1800s silver-mining boom, George Flint, lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association and brothel managers say. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, center, stands for a photograph inside the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Growing use of the Internet to arrange liaisons with prostitutes and decreased patronage by truckers squeezed by rising fuel costs are also hurting houses of prostitution that took root during Nevada's mid-1800s silver-mining boom, George Flint, lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association and brothel managers say. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, stands for a photograph inside the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Growing use of the Internet to arrange liaisons with prostitutes and decreased patronage by truckers squeezed by rising fuel costs are also hurting houses of prostitution that took root during Nevada's mid-1800s silver-mining boom, George Flint, lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association and brothel managers say. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MALIBU, CA - MAY 05: Dennis Hof attends Adam Carolla's Cinco De Mangria party benefiting Children's Hospital Los Angeles on May 5, 2013 in Malibu, California. (Photo by James Lemke Jr/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Bunny Ranch founder Dennis Hof visits SiriusXM Studio on November 16, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
MALIBU, CA - MAY 05: Ron Jeremy, Krissy Summer and Dennis Hof attend Adam Carolla's Cinco De Mangria party benefiting Children's Hospital Los Angeles on May 5, 2013 in Malibu, California. (Photo by James Lemke Jr/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JUNE 17: The Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel owner Dennis Hof and Heidi Fleiss appear at the Ritz-Carlton hotel where Fleiss was scheduled to speak on behalf of PETA at PetSmart's annual meeting June 17, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 19: (L-R) Jazzy Jones,Dennis Hof and Cami Parker attend New York's Funniest Reporter Show at Gotham Comedy Club on August 19, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28: The Bunny Ranch's Dennis Hof attend the book launch party for 'The Gods of Greenwich' at Kiss & Fly on April 28, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images)
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Hof, who turned 72 on Sunday, was the Republican candidate this year in a heavily GOP state legislative district. Ballots have already been printed in the race and it wasn't immediately clear how elections officials would handle Hof's death.

Hof owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate.

His Love Ranch brothel is where NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious in 2015.

The brothel was temporarily shuttered twice this year by regulators who said Hof had failed to renew licenses and get proper permits for renovations.

About 20 brothels operate in Nevada, mostly in rural areas. The state doesn't publicize how many are open, and most owners keep a much lower profile than Hof.

In addition to his legislative campaign, Hof faced a push to outlaw brothels and had problems with local regulators in the two counties where he runs the licensed bordellos.

Hof had also been accused of sexual assault on at least four occasions. The Nevada Department of Public Safety says it is investigating an allegation made in September but has released few details.

Hof had denied any wrongdoing.

The flamboyant pimp starred in the HBO adult reality series "Cathouse" and wrote a book titled "The Art of the Pimp," a play on Trump's book "The Art of the Deal."

Hof ran for office in 2016 as a Libertarian but lost the race.

This year, he ran as a Republican and earned backing from Trump associate Roger Stone and tax-cut activist Grover Norquist.

He upended Nevada politics this summer when he ousted an incumbent Republican lawmaker in a primary, celebrating at an election night party with "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss.

He said the anti-brothel push and regulatory problems he's faced this year were political retribution.

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