In 2010, 27-year-old Sen. Elizabeth Halseth (R-9) became the youngest woman ever elected to serve in Nevada’s state senate. According to Reuters, the conservative Republican ran on a Christian values platform, which makes it all the more surprising that the former lawmaker is currently featured in Maxim magazine, barely wearing a revealing black bikini and apparently leading among write-in candidates for the magazine’s annual “Hot 100″ list.
Each year, Maxim publishes a list of actresses, celebrities, news anchors and other famous women and asks its readers to vote on which women they find “hottest.” The top 100 women become the magazine’s “Hot 100.” This year, for the first time, the contest has been opened to write-in votes by readers, which is how the relatively unknown politician’s “hotness” ended up being rated alongside that of women like Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson and Emmas Stone and Watson.
The young legislator was elected partly on the basis of her her squeaky-clean image. In the weeks leading up to the 2010 election, Halseth’s campaign sent out a mailer depicting her opponent, Democratic Representative Benny Yerushalmi with his wife, who was wearing a particularly revealing dress. Next to the photo appeared the phrase, “Not Our Values.”
In the year and a half since the election, however, Halseth’s personal life turned rocky. Her husband and father of her three children, Daniel Halseth was arrested for open and gross lewdness when police were summoned to their home following a domestic dispute in October of 2011. Shortly after, the two were divorced.
Halseth stopped attending meetings of the Nevada legislature and resigned from the state’s governing body in February, citing a need to concentrate on her duties “as a mother and a job-seeker.”
Gene Newman, digital editorial director for Maxim said that Halseth submitted her photos for the contest the following month.
“Most politicians don’t get in touch with us,” he told Reuters, “and most aren’t as beautiful as she is.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.