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Photos from a Nevada Legislative Republicans town-hall meeting at the Eldorado Resort Casino in Reno, Nev., Wednesday, August 30, 2017. The town hall feature Assembly members Jim Wheeler, John Ellison, Al Kramer, Lisa Krasner and Jill Toles and Senators Heidi Gansert and Ben Kieckhefer. Photo by David Calvert for The Nevada Independent

The leader of the Nevada Assembly Republican caucus says he hopes brothel owner Dennis Hof wins his legislative race in November, after much of the state’s political establishment have distanced themselves from his candidacy.

Although the Assembly Republican caucus itself voted to not endorse or support any candidates following Hof’s victory over incumbent Assemblyman James Oscarson in the state’s June primary, caucus leader Jim Wheeler said in an email to Hof this week that he would “automatically” become a member of the caucus if he wins in November and wished him luck on his campaign.

“Since the voters of your district chose to elect you in the primary, I personally hope that you and all other Republican primary winners win in the general election,” he said in the email, which was first published on Hof’s campaign website and obtained by The Nevada Independent. “I look forward to working with all the new Republicans in the caucus, as well as our returning members, in the new session on issues important to the caucus, your constituents, and the citizens of Nevada.”

Wheeler said in a follow up call with The Nevada Independent that the caucus would not be spending any financial resources or campaign for Hof in the Pahrump-centered Assembly District.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety is currently investigating allegations of sexual assault against Hof, and several former employees of the 71-year-old brothel owner and reality TV star have gone public with allegations of unwelcome sexual contact from their former employer. Hof has never been charged or convicted of a crime related to the allegations.

Other Nevada Republicans, including gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt, Gov. Brian Sandoval, Sen. Dean Heller, attorney general candidate Wes Duncan and Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson have said publicly that they would not support Hof’s candidacy.

Hof is facing off against Democratic candidate Lesia Romanov, a public school assistant principal, in November.

Read more about that race in our Elections section.

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