Dennis Hof, Nevada Assembly candidate and owner of several legal brothels in Nevada, has died. He was 72.
The Nye County Sheriff confirmed Hof's death on Twitter, saying he passed away this morning at the Love Ranch, north of Pahrump.
Hof moved to Nevada after growing up in Arizona, and he owned several gas stations before purchasing the Moonlite Ranch in 1992, renaming it the Moonlite Bunny Ranch.
In an August interview, Hof told KUNR he used to visit the Moonlite with the late comedian Andy Kaufman in the 1970's. Hof said Kaufman first gave him the idea to buy the ranch, and to treat the customers like celebrities.
"Kaufman said, 'Dennis, you're a small businessman. You should own this place, and you should treat people like you and I are treated,' " Hof recounted, "because the normal customer in brothels was 'get in; get up; get it done; get the hell out of here.' "
Hof became more well-known in the early 2000's, when HBO aired a reality show about the ranch called Cathouse.
During his tenure as a brothel owner, Hof was accused by multiple women of sexual assault, which he vehemently denied. Hof also made waves recently when he beat incumbent Republican lawmaker James Oscarson for a state assembly seat.
Hof's name will still appear on the ballot, in accordance with state law.
In a tweet, the Nye County Sheriff's Office said they are investigating the cause of death. Hof's campaign manager, Chuck Muth, said Hof died quietly in his sleep and was found by his longtime friend and adult film star, Ron Jeremy.